NFL Betting Reigns Supreme As Week 1 Numbers Up Dramatically from 2022



  • Week 1 of the NFL season came with a host of new accounts and a spike in participation at legal sportsbooks
  • Roughly 60% of all sportsbook annual revenues come during NFL season
  • States without legal sports betting markets are missing out on tens of millions of dollars annually

NFL betting returned to “king” status in Week 1 of the 2023 season as sportsbooks reported massive increases in a variety of metrics now that the pigskin is back in play.

According to geo-tracking company GeoComply, 242.3 million unique transactions were processed across the country’s legal sports betting jurisdictions. That represented a 56% year-to-year increase and, unsurprisingly, was the most active recent period for sportsbooks.

At least 1.1 million new user accounts were also created at different online sportsbooks, up 40% from the previous year.

New year, new players

The NFL draws more eyes than any sports league in America. In February, the American Gaming Association estimated that more than 50 million Americans would combine to wager over $16 billion on the Super Bowl matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles (won by the Chiefs 38-35).

Sunday’s are more akin to household events than just any other day because purely football is being played. The sport’s massive following has unsurprisingly also made it the most productive time of year for sports betting companies.

According to Geo Comply, roughly 60% of all sportsbook revenues come during the NFL season, which culminates in the Super Bowl, historically the most-watched television event of the year.

Ohio, which launched sports betting at the start of the year, saw roughly 133,000 new local accounts created at different online sportsbooks. Maryland, which launched online sports betting in December 2022, gave birth to 61,000 new accounts, and Massachusetts, which went live this spring, saw 59,000 new accounts added to the patronage.

Ohio has been one of the busiest sports betting markets since it went live, and its presence was felt through the sheer number of transactions. According to GeoComply’s data, close to 20 million geolocation checks were counted during Week 1 of the 2023 NFL season.

38 states and Washington D.C. have already legalized sports betting in light of the 2018 PAPSA decision. Several states, including Kentucky, Maine, and Vermont, are preparing to launch their sports betting markets before the end of the year.

Missed opportunities

States that have not yet legalized the pastime are being encouraged to join the majority to protect consumers from illicit operators and raise taxable funds.

“While the increase in our transaction volume emphasizes the appetite for regulated online sports betting, our data also accentuates an urgent call to action,” said GeoComply Co-Founder and CEO Anna Sainsbury in a press release. “States without regulated online sports betting should get off the legalization sidelines and unlock their ability to protect consumers and generate significant tax revenue.”

Despite a large majority of states already housing legal betting markets, a few of the country’s largest and most populous states, including California, Florida, Texas, and Georgia, do not have legal or operational markets.

GeoComply revealed that there were more than one million geolocation checks conducted in Missouri, Mississippi, Georgia, Minnesota, Alabama, and South Carolina, all states without legal betting markets, during the opening week of the NFL season. That included 553,000 checks in Missouri and 262,000 in Mississippi.

GeoComply also provided estimates as to the annual losses in tax funding through the absence of a legal sports betting market. Assuming a tax rate of 15% and using estimates for state population and gross gaming revenue, Georgia is currently missing out on $89 million annually, Missouri and Minnesota $59 million, Alabama $47 million, South Carolina $42 million, and Mississippi $24.5 million.

Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself in his up-to-the-minute reporting on the latest events in the industry. A member of Virginia Tech’s 2021 graduating class, he has quickly put together an impressive portfolio since moving to the professional world full-time. Grant’s favorite sports to cover are basketball and both types of football (American and soccer), and he is pushing written, audio, and video content. He has been employed by companies as highly regarded as Forbes and continues on a great trajectory in the industry. When he’s not on the clock, you can find Grant at the gym, looking for adventures, or hanging out with his family.