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The Number of Sports Bettors and DFS Players on the Rise in North America, New Study Shows

A study conducted by the Angus Reid Group on behalf of the Fantasy Sports and Gaming Association (FSGA) has shown that legal sports betting and fantasy sports participation rates in the territory of North America have been on the rise.

The research, which was officially announced at the FSGA Summer Conference held in Cleveland, revealed that more than 81 million adult residents of the US and Canada take part in legal sports betting and daily fantasy sports. Reportedly, the figure represented a 7% increase in the overall number of players/bettors since 2022. Apart from the increase in gambling participation rates, the study also highlighted a drop in the crossover between sports bettors and DFS players, with the number of exclusive bettors rising from 28% to 34% year-over-year, the number of exclusive daily fantasy sports players increasing from 14% to 21% year-over-year, but the crossover audience decreasing from 59% to 45% on a year-on-year basis.

The aforementioned findings have indicated that customers in North America are becoming more selective when it comes to their gaming preferences. The results of the study have also highlighted how important it is for operators to better understand their players and offer more customized games based on their customers’ interests.

The research commissioned by the Fantasy Sports and Gaming Association revealed a migration of existing sports betting and DFS customers from offshore accounts to regulated ones. A 48% decline year-over-year has been registered in the number of sports bettors who use online gambling accounts in legal markets, and a 50% decline year-over-year has been registered in the number of people using the services of brick-and-mortar sportsbooks.

Premium Content and Live Sports Packages Become More Popular among Customers in the US and Canada

According to estimates provided by the study, legal sports betting, daily fantasy sports, and affiliated ancillary services accounted for a total of $102 billion in handle and entry fees over the past year.

The DFS industry experienced a 60% increase in entry fees in the six-year period from 2017 to 2023, reaching $11.5 billion. This significant growth suggests that the sector has not only become more stable but operators also managed to keep their customers more engaged. Furthermore, approximately 60% of sports bettors and daily fantasy sports players pay for premium content or live sports packages, with DFS players spending an average of $119 a year, and punters spending an average of $129 a year on such services.

Daniel Haight, who chairs the Research Committee of the FSGA, has shared how excited he was about the industry’s growth and the decline registered in offshore betting activity, emphasizing that the presence of regulated alternatives providing responsible gambling measures was extremely important.

The research once again confirmed that DFS players and sports bettors are usually younger male customers, who remain a valuable asset as part of the operators’ customer base, especially in terms of potential partnerships. As the market tends to consolidate and become more mature, companies are set to focus on the improvement of customer experience in order to enhance customers’ platform usage.

Other insights, such as the consolidation and engagement of DFS players and how important retention was within the sports betting sector, have also been uncovered by the study. The research showed a decline in daily fantasy sports play rates in Canada as a result of the unsustainable paid DFS regulations in Ontario and the emergence of legalized sports betting there.

 Author: Harrison Young

Harrison Young is an experienced writer, who started his career almost 8 years ago. Prior to joining our team at CasinoGamesPro, he worked as an editor for a small magazine.