Legal sports wagering and fantasy sports participation in North America has experienced significant growth, according to a study conducted by the Angus Reid Group for the Fantasy Sports & Gaming Association (FSGA).
Study Reveals Decrease in Fantasy Players and Sports Bettors Crossover
The study also highlighted a decrease in the crossover between fantasy players and sports bettors, with exclusive fantasy players increasing from 13% to 21% year-over-year, exclusive bettors rising from 28% to 34% year-over-year, and the crossover audience decreasing from 59% to 45% year-over-year. These findings indicate that consumers are becoming more selective in their gaming preferences, emphasizing the importance for companies to better understand their players and offer tailored games based on their interests.
Furthermore, the research revealed a migration of existing bettors from offshore accounts to regulated ones, with a 48% year-over-year drop in sports bettors using offshore accounts in legal markets and a halving of those using in-person bookies.
The study estimated that over the past year, there was a total of $102 billion in handle/entry fees across legal sports wagering, fantasy sports, and affiliated ancillary services. Notably, the fantasy sports industry experienced a 60% growth in entry fees from 2017 to 2023, reaching $11.5 billion. This significant increase suggests that the industry has not only stabilized but also that players are more engaged.
Additionally, approximately 60% of fantasy sports players and sports bettors pay for live sports packages or premium content, spending an average of $119 per year for fantasy players and $129 per year for sports bettors.
FSGA Chair Applauds Industry Growth and Safer Betting Options
FSGA Research Committee Chair Daniel Haight expressed excitement about the industry’s growth and the decrease in offshore betting activity, emphasizing the importance of regulated alternatives that provide responsible gaming measures.
The study also uncovered other insights, including the consolidation and engagement of Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) players and the importance of retention within the sports betting universe rather than acquiring new customers. It noted a decline in fantasy sports play in Canada due to the emergence of legalized sports wagering and unsustainable paid fantasy regulations in Ontario.
The research reaffirmed that sports bettors and fantasy players are predominantly younger males, highlighting their value as a customer base, particularly in terms of potential partnerships. With the market maturing and consolidating, companies will focus on improving user experience to enhance players’ and bettors’ platform usage. The FSGA Chair, Brandon Loeschner, noted that the study results would aid the industry’s growth and improvement.