The recent Sports Equinox (when the NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB are all active simultaneously) means that it’s a major time for sports wagering. Some bettors have had access to sportsbooks for years, while others have been betting on pro football and other events for the first time. For example, while New Jersey has had sportsbooks active since 2018, the Kentucky sports betting market launched in September.
With this being a major time in the wagering world, it’s a great time to look at betting behavior, particularly how casual betting differs from more involved wagering. Sparket, a social-focused platform emphasizing free-to-play betting pools, has compiled data on betting trends surrounding more casual wagering that gives a closer look at betting behavior in 2023.
Casual Bets Represented Three Of The Top Four Super Bets
Sparket released some intriguing data surrounding Super Bowl 57, and the results are fascinating when you split up the general game wagers with the more casual props. The data is broken down not by how many people chose certain types of wagers, but the total percentage of virtual currency wagered on the event.
15% of the currency was placed on the winner of the big game, which makes sense from a pure betting perspective. However, the next few options are where things get interesting. 13.5% of virtual currency was bet on Rihana’s first song in the Super Bowl Halftime Show, while 11.9% was bet on the color of the Gatorade poured on the winning head coach. Super Bowl commercials are one of the most popular aspects of the game each year, and 9.8% was wagered on the type of the first ad.
While the numbers show plenty of other game-related bets, such as 9.5% wagering on the first scoring play and 8.2% on the first touchdown scorer, it’s clear that casual bets like the National Anthem length (7.1%) are clearly big with bettors. One of the most interesting wagers had to do with the Rob Gronkowski field goal attempt at halftime, which 6% of virtual currency was bet on.
This data from Sparket was taken from a sample size across approximately 2,000 wagers placed by 300 users through Sparket contests and tribal casinos.
The Growing Interest In Non-Traditional Betting
In addition to focusing on trends around casual Super Bowl bets, Sparket has also conducted studies on the desire to bet on less traditional events. For example, 65% of respondents in a survey that had previously bet on a sporting event would be open to wagering on events such as reality television and awards shows.
The feedback from Gen Z respondents was especially interesting, as only 25% of respondents had previously placed a real money bet. In terms of what these respondents would wager on, 60% said they would bet on reality television, higher than the 50% that said they would bet on sporting events. 20% also expressed an interest in wagering on reality TV, followed by 10% that would wager on esports.
As Evan Fisher, COO of Sparket, said: “There are a huge number of casual fans who aren’t being catered to by betting products in the market today. You can’t use the same male and football dominated marketing messages or number-heavy interfaces with these potential users. Instead, we approach this by offering expanded content across events like reality TV, alternative sports, esports, and more with a social community feel to help bring these demographics into the ecosystem. It’s exciting to see that when these new users engage with this expanded content, we’re also seeing them bet on the traditional sports as well.”