Sports Gambling & Media: A Special Report

Illustration of a slot machine with sports icons
Illustration: VIP+; Adobe Stock

Sports betting has been one of 2022’s hot topics. Viewers can’t watch a televised or streamed sporting event without ads and partnerships for online sportsbooks. But in addition to being a growing consumer activity, mobile sports gambling is becoming increasingly important to the media business. 

Variety Intelligence Platform’s latest special report takes a deep look at the continued rise of sports betting and what it means for media partners. From their perspective, it seems like gambling is a net positive: It increases the amount of attention paid to games (meaning viewers are more likely to notice promotional messaging), the amount of time spent watching games (more advertising opportunities), the number of games watched (even more advertising opportunities) and the consumption of complementary content featuring sports gambling. 

This report is VIP+’s third on sports gaming and the first in almost two years. A lot has changed since our last edition published in February 2020, with 13 states launching mobile gaming operations and another three legalizing it and launching soon.

As a result, the amount of money being wagered each year keeps growing with the expanding base, with 2022’s $65.5 billion to date a huge 31% ($15.4 billion) greater than the total for 2021. But don’t panic, as this edition explains how the amount of money being wagered is not the same as real dollars being spent. 

The 2022 report is supported by a study conducted by leading online research agency CRG Global, which partnered with Variety Intelligence Platform to design a survey that does a deep dive into what motivates sports bettors, what sports they wager on, how betting influences viewing behavior and the use of and ratings for leading sportsbooks, including DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM and Caesars. Data is looked at among sports gamblers 18 and older but also segmented by Gen Z, Millennials and Gen X bettors. 

There is also a comprehensive breakdown of wagers placed in 2022 in each state; maps of where mobile gambling is legal, soon to be legal and not; a breakdown of the differences in mobile sports betting by state in terms of operators allowed; and the regions where all sportsbooks active in four or more states currently operate. Readers will come away with a detailed understanding of the current state of sports gambling, why it is increasingly important to media sports rights holders and which are the leading sportsbooks. 

Read on to learn about:

1

Which sports have been benefiting most from the explosion of sports gambling

2

Which states are seeing the most wagers placed and who's active where

3

The impact betting is having on sports viewing and engagement