Industry Reports

AGA Survey Finds Legal Sports Betting Could Bring More Than US$4 Billion a Year to Professional Sports Leagues

A casino industry survey which was released yesterday revealed that legal sports betting services could bring US$4.2 billion to the four major US sports leagues on an annual basis. According to the research, most of that amount could be reaped indirectly, from an increased engagement of sports fans across the country.

As a result, these findings could add more fuel to the long-lasting dispute between the professional sports leagues and the local gaming industry, which occurred at the time when the sports leagues asked for a share of the expected sports betting revenue after the US Supreme Court lifted the federal ban on the operations and some states started to add sports betting to their gambling sectors.

It was the American Gaming Association (AGA), which commissioned the Nielsen Sports survey. The latter showed that that local professional sports leagues will draw benefit from legalized sports wagers in case they are granted with a share of the revenue, even without taking a cut of wagers. As Reuters reported, according to the information revealed by the survey, the National Football League’s (NFL) additional annual revenue is likely to amount to $2.33 billion. The rest will be divided between the National Basketball Association (NBA), the Major League Baseball (MLB) and the National Hockey League (NHL).

The latest study of the AGA also found that US$596 million of the overall increased early revenue of the professional sports leagues would be generated from gaming services spending on TV advertising. Another US$267 million would come from sponsorship agreements between the leagues and the sports betting industry, and a little less than US$90 million would come from data and video revenue.

Professional Sports Leagues Want a Share of the Sports Betting Revenue

Professional sports leagues have fought states’ efforts to make sports betting legal, saying that it would eventually lead to game fixing. However, a few months ago, the US Supreme Court made a decision to provide states with the chance to decide on their own whether to make sports betting legal or not.

Since the nationwide ban on sports betting was lifted by the US Supreme Court in May, professional sports leagues have required a portion of the expected sports betting revenue, saying that the money will help them fund additional integrity measures. In addition, they have claimed a portion of the expected wagers, as their sports clubs have been the reason for the existence of sports betting.

Previously, MLB has required an “integrity fee” worth 1% of the overall amount of money bet. That request, however, was rejected by New Jersey lawmakers. The tension on the matter rose last week when the MLB Executive Vice President Kenny Gersh said at the annual Global Gaming Expo that the above-mentioned integrity fee should be called a “royalty” and explained that professional sports leagues had reduced their request for a portion of sports betting revenue to 0.25%.