2022 NFL Opening Weekend Shatters Sports Betting Record

GeoComply Reports Huge Numbers

Lineups logoThe growth of the legal sports betting industry was further confirmed this week when GeoComply, a geolocation services leader, announced that NFL opening weekend produced 103.1 million geolocation checks. This is up 71.5% from last year’s 60.1 million for the same weekend. 

“The growth of legal betting suggests that Americans are ditching offshore sportsbooks for regulated options in their home states. This is exactly the outcome legislators and regulators looked to achieve through legalization as they now protect consumers and increase tax revenues,” said GeoComply CEO, Anna Sainsbury. 

Thursday Night’s season opener between the Buffalo Bills and Los Angeles Rams alone showed a huge year-over-year success for the industry. GeoComply reported that volumes were up 77% to 22.6 million transactions this past Thursday compared to 12.7 million in the 2021 Thursday Night Football opener. New Yorkers accounted for 3.7 million of these transactions alongside New Jersey bettors who accounted for another 3 million. Compared to a week prior to the Sept. 8 kickoff, betting activity in Buffalo increased by 210%. 

Market Share By State

Last year’s NFL opening weekend had five fewer states for Americans to wager in, which is likely the root cause of the large increase. Since last year’s opening weekend, Arkansas, New York, Louisiana, Kansas, and Connecticut have launched sports betting markets. This takes the number of legal online sports betting markets to 25, plus the District of Columbia. 

New York, unsurprisingly, led the way last weekend, owning 15.3% of the market share of opening weekend transactions. Pennsylvania was a close second at 14.8%, boasting a 29.7% increase from last year’s numbers. 

“New York continues its reign as ‘King of the Hill’ with 15.3 percent market share for US betting, but we are also seeing strong growth across the country,” said Sainsbury.

New Jersey came in third, owning 13.1% of the weekend’s transactions, and Michigan was fourth. Illinois had the fifth-most transactions but yielded the highest year-over-year growth of all states – it jumped 60% from 2021’s 5 million transactions to this year’s 8 million. This is likely due to Illinois’ changing of its in-person registration wagering requirement.

NFL Season Betting Outlook

While the Week 1 numbers are impressive, they are likely to get much higher as the season goes on. Sports betting in Ohio is set to launch on Jan. 1 of the new year which will give excited Bengals and Browns fans a chance to legally bet on their home teams for the first time ever. Maryland has yet to launch their legal sports betting market though they want to before the NFL season ends. Massachusetts also just legalized, though their chances may be slim to get the market launched and running before the NFL season ends. Nebraska and Maine also have legal sports betting markets, but have yet to launch. 

Professional football is only one part of the puzzle in the betting picture for the fall. The World Series will commence in just over a month, followed by the start of the NBA and NHL seasons. All of these sports, in new states and markets, will likely contribute to more records being broken before the year is over. 

Mia Fowler is a graduate of Chapman University where she studied business marketing and journalism and played on the women’s soccer team. Following her 16-year journey with soccer, she started writing for Lineups.com. She specifically enjoys analysis of the NFL.

Hot Betting News Stories