States Prepare for NFL Sports Betting Takeover Starting in September

Grant Mitchell
By:
Grant Mitchell
07/04/2023
News

Highlights

  • Four states have legalized but not created sports betting markets
  • The NFL season is the most profitable time of year for states with legal sports betting
  • The NFL has had problems with players violating the gambling policy recently

As the 2023 NFL season prepares to take over television screens across America, the landscape of sports betting is different than it was even just one season ago.

Since football last kicked off a new season in September 2022, states such as North Carolina and Kentucky have made major legislative changes to legalize and expand their sports betting markets. States with existing markets are also feverishly preparing for what will be the busiest time of the year for sportsbooks.

The NFL itself has also become even more entrenched with gambling, albeit to the detriment of its players.

Here’s a comprehensive view of where the country stands on sports betting ahead of the NFL season.

Where are states with sports betting?

States know that NFL betting is king in America. The American Gaming Association revealed estimates that over 50 million Americans and $16 billion would be wagered during the February Super Bowl between the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs alone.lega

Ohio launched its legal sports betting market on January 1, 2023, giving local bettors the chance to bet on two final regular-season games and the playoffs. Despite the narrow window, the state racked up more than $1 billion in betting handle and over $208 in tax revenue, putting it alongside New York and other top states in the national betting scene. 

States that have legalized sports betting but have not established their respective markets include Kentucky, Vermont, Maine, and Florida (which just reached a breakthrough decision in a federal court case).

Florida is an unknown because of the controversy that led to its case going to court. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear has already said that the regulatory bodies will prioritize having sports betting ready to go by the time professional football returns for its six-month run of action. 

Vermont hopes to have its sports betting market ready to go by the end of 2023 and in time to capitalize on part of the NFL campaign. Although there are no in-state teams, the nearby New England Patriots are a great draw, as are the three New York Teams (New York Giants, New York Jets, and Buffalo Bills). 

Maine is the furthest behind of the bunch. Although there was a path for it to set up its sports betting scene in the summer, it now appears that the earliest it will be ready to accept wagers will be at the start of 2024, though that would be in time for the playoffs.

The NFL looks inward

As the betting public prepares to dissect the NFL section of online sportsbooks, the league itself is having a tough time preventing its players from doing exactly the same.

A second sweep of suspensions was recently announced for several NFL players, bringing the total to nine this summer. One of the players, Isaiah Rodgers Sr, was found to have placed hundreds of bets, including several that involved his team. He also placed a majority of the bets from inside the Indianapolis Colts’ facility. 

The Colts have since cut Rodgers and Rashod Berry, another player that was handed a yearlong suspension for breaching the league’s gambling policy.

In light of the increase in gambling infractions, the NFL has released a six-pillar approach to staying safe and free from repercussions. They are:

  • Don’t bet on NFL games 
  • Don’t place bets from inside team facilities, during travels, or at team hotels 
  • Don’t share sensitive information that can be used by bettors 
  • Don’t enter retail sportsbooks during NFL season 
  • Don’t have someone bet for you and don’t bet on accounts opened under the names of other people

The league also brought in retired quarterback Tom Brady to share a video message about the dangers of gambling and why it isn’t worth it for active players. Rookies must now also undergo required training regarding the gambling policy.

As far as the odds for the 2023 season go, the Chiefs (+600) are the favorites to win the Super Bowl for the second year in a row. The Eagles (+800), Buffalo Bills (+900), San Francisco 49ers (+1000), and Cincinnati Bengals (+1000) are next in line. 

The Houston Texans and Arizona Cardinals are expected to vie for the worst record in the league.

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.