National Survey on Gambling Attitudes

Research and Data
Author(s): National Council on Problem Gambling
Year Published: 2021


This study is the first major national research on gambling issues and public attitudes about gambling since the 1999 National Gambling Impact Study Commission. Conducted in 2018, this study surveyed more than 28,000 U.S. consumers to understand their beliefs and attitudes of various forms of gambling.


Quantitative Data Highlights

  • 22% of survey respondents reported making a traditional sports bet in the previous year.
  • Of these survey respondents:
    • 91% reported sports betting with family or friends. (43% making such a bet “often.”)
    • 66% of sports bettors bet on more than one sport. (27% bet on four or more.)
    • 25% of the sports betting population gamble on each of these 3 sports: professional basketball, professional baseball, and college basketball.
Sports gambling population is:
  • 3x more likely to say they needed to gamble more for the same feeling of excitement compared to the non-sports gambling population.
  • 5x more likely to say they’ve needed to rely on others to pay their debts or bills many times.
  • 7x more likely to have lied to hide their gambling many times.
  • 3x times more likely to have frequently felt restless or irritable when trying to quit or cut down on their gambling.
Fantasy Sports:
  • 17% of the gambling public bet on fantasy sports in the past year.
  • 69% of all fantasy sports players bet on professional football.
  • 70% of individuals reporting they bet on e-sports are under the age of 35.
  • 500% increase in esports gambling revenue between 2014 and 2019.
  • 28% of men bet on sports versus 12% of women.
  • 46% of individuals under the age of 35 are sports bettors.
  • 32% of individuals between 25 and 34 bet on sports in the past year, in contrast to:
    • 8% of individuals age 65 to 74 bet on sports in the past year.
    • 3% of individuals age 75 and older bet on sports in the past year.
Race/ Ethnicity participation in sports betting include:
  • 33% of Asian-Americans.
  • 32% of Blacks.
  • 19% of Whites.
  • 19% of Native Americans.


Qualitative Data Highlights

  • Sports betting has a disproportionate appeal to those at the higher end of the socio-economic scale (by income and educational attainment).


Identified Risk Factors

  • Identifying as male.
  • Identifying as Black or Asian.
  • Higher end of the socio-economic scale.


Read Full Research Summary


National Council on Problem Gambling. (2021). National Detail Report National Survey on gambling attitudes and … 


Further Reading