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US Online Sports Betting 2020 Survey

17 February 2020

This year's survey has revealed some fascinating insights for both punters and sportsbooks. The results suggest that the online gambling industry will have to work in its image in the US, especially amongst Republicans who do not view online gambling as morally acceptable.

2020 Survey Results Revealed...

This year we have looked at how the American public view online gambling as well as the level of awareness around the current legal landscape.

The online gambling industry in the US is only two years old, so we were prepared for some unexpected results. However, we were still surprised to see that online gambling was not considered morally acceptable by the majority of Americans. In our next survey, we would like to dig a little deeper into why this is the case.

Questions about BettingScanner's survey

How were the results collected?

This survey was performed in collaboration with Pollfish, one of the world's largest market research companies. Every respondent is an American over 21 years of age.

Great survey, but what is BettingScanner?

BettingScanner is a website that ranks and reviews all reputable American sportsbooks. We are owned by LeadStar Media which runs some of the largest sportsbook comparison sites all over the world. This survey is part of our research into the US market.

What are the demographics of the respondents?

We had a pretty even split between both men and women as well as between Democrats and Republicans.

There was a proportional spread of respondents from each state, with the most pollsters coming from California, Texas and New York.

The final questions were only for Americans who had placed a bet online. It was predominantly residents of NJ and PA who responded to these questions.

Public Awareness

In May 2018, the supreme court lifted the federal ban on sports betting. This sent shockwaves through the sports betting industry; the world's biggest market had just legalized sports betting. It left the door open for each state to decide whether they would legalize online sports betting. However, when we asked wether American's were aware of this new legislation we were surprised by the results.

59% of Americans are not aware that the federal ban on sports betting has been lifted

What makes this even more surprising is that in states such as New Jersey and Pennsylvania, where online sports betting has been legal since 2018, 36% of people were not aware of the federal ruling.

Moral Acceptance

Online gambling is relatively new to the US, so it comes as no surprise that there is a level of reticence towards the industry. However, we were still surprised to see how it compares to other habits such as owning a gun or drinking alcohol.

Six in ten Americans view owning a gun as morally acceptable, compared with around four in ten Americans who view gambling online, or using single-use plastics as morally acceptable.

Smoking Marijuana (46%) and drinking alcohol (64%) were also viewed as morally acceptable.

What is especially interesting, is when you compare these results with the fact that almost half of Americans are in favour of legalizing sports betting, with 35% undecided.

Only 16% of Americans are against the legalization of online sports betting.

Beer Sports fans

Drinking is considered more morally acceptable than gambling online

Around 1 in 4 Americans would be concerned if they found out their partners bet on sports online. Of the respondents who do currently bet online, around one in five would not want their employers to find out.

Moral Acceptance by Political Affiliation

As much as we are loath to contribute to the divisive nature of politics at the moment, we did think it was important to see how attitudes around gambling online played out in the political landscape.

BettingScanner 2020 Survey: Rep vs Dem online gambling


At Bettingscanner we have followed the state by state legalization process in the US with a mixture of interest and weariness. Each state, has its own way of doing things, which can, at times, be exciting, but it can also make the whole process difficult to understand. We have, however, begun to see a trend emerge, that we expect to continue.

With a large segment of the US population undecided (35%) individual states have begun to offer 'sin taxes' as an incentive to vote for the legalization of online sports betting.

These sin taxes are placed on sportsbooks by the state, who in turn promise to spend them on public services. One example, of this, is Colorado. The state promised to spend sports betting tax revenue on a water management plan.

32% of American's who are against the legalization of online sports betting would change their mind if their state promised to spend the money on public services, with 53% potentially changing their stance.


It comes out as no surprise that the majority of Americans have heard of DraftKings (44%) and FanDuel ( 41%) given that they have existed as fantasy sports operators before they launched their sportsbooks.

It's the casinos who have launched sportsbooks that dominate the second tier. These Include MGM and Caesars.

BettingScanner's 2020 Survey Brands
Statistical Relevance

This survey was run by Pollfish, and there were 500 respondents from across the US. This number means that the survey was statistically relevant.