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NFL opening weekend delivers 58.2m legal betting transactions

The opening weekend of the new National Football League (NFL) season generated record betting activity in the US, according to fraud prevention and cybersecurity solutions company Geocomply.

The Canadian firm recorded 58.2 million geolocated betting transactions across 18 states and Washington DC from 9th to 12th September, encompassing all opening weekend fixtures excluding Monday’s game between the Las Vegas Raiders and the Baltimore Ravens.

The overall figure is up 126 per cent compared to the same period of the 2020 NFL campaign, when GeoComply processed 25.8 million transactions. The company also described it as ‘the highest four-day stretch of geolocation transactions’ it has ever recorded.

GeoComply noted that the increase is down to a combination of more states legalising sports betting and American consumers migrating to legal sportsbooks as a result.

The state with the highest volume of NFL betting transactions was New Jersey with 12.5 million, followed by Pennsylvania (11.5 million), Michigan (7.5 million), Arizona (6.1 million) and Illinois (4.8 million).

“Preparing for this NFL season has been a process that began before the end of last season, and we expected high volumes, but what we have seen has surprised us nonetheless,” said Lindsay Slader, GeoComply’s managing director of gaming. “The level of demand across new markets, such as Arizona, indicates that consumers have long waited for the option to legally place a sports bet.

“The data tells a remarkable story about the growth of the industry in a short period of time.” The figures come after some bold forecasts were published about how much money will be generated from wagers placed on football games this season.

A study by US online gaming outlet PlayUSA revealed that punters could place more than US$20 billion in bets on the NFL and college football during the 2021 campaign, potentially generating as much as US$1.5 billion in revenue for sportsbooks across the US.

A later report by the American Gaming Association said that more than 45 million Americans will place bets during the 2021 NFL season, marking a 36 per cent increase on last year.

Author: Sam Carp

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