Rise Of Gambling: Ease of Online Sports Betting Attracts Gen Z, Millennials

sports gambling usa research

Sports betting is erupting across America. As more states legalize it, searches for online sports betting have increased 174% from 2020 to 2023! With it becoming more accessible, especially online, it’s becoming attractive to the younger generations.

In a new survey of 1,000 people 21 and older,, a guide to legal online gambling in the USA, asked respondents to share their sports betting experiences and opinions. It turns out that Gen Zers are betting on sports using their phones more than any other generation, but they don’t feel like sports betting should be legal for everyone 18 and older.  

Sports Betting Preferences 

America’s sports betting habits - report from

More than 1 in 2 (55%) Americans bet on sports, and the majority of those are men (66%) rather than women (45%). Baby Boomers are the least likely to place sports bets, with just 44% of the generation placing bets. Gen Xers bet the most (58%) closely followed by Millennials (57%) and Gen Zers (56%). 

40% of Americans bet on sports using sportsbooks such as Draftkings, BetRivers or bet365, but about 1 in 3 (36%) bet informally with their family or friends. People seem to be less serious about these informal bets: more than 2 in 5 (43%) do not consider informal bets to be a form of gambling. The stakes do appear to be a lot lower considering that people shared they’ve lost more money betting through official sportsbooks than in bets between family and friends. 

Despite so many Americans betting on sports, many question the authenticity of the leagues and the athletes who play in them. 72% think professional athletes illegally bet on their own games! More than 3 in 4 (77%) don’t feel like these pro athletes should be allowed to bet on sports games they play in, even if it’s only to bet that they will win. Surprisingly, 1 in 3 (34%) think professional sports leagues are rigged!

The Impact of Tech on Sports Betting 

Sports betting and technology usage - report from 

Technology has made it much easier to do many things at the click of a button… including gambling. Nearly 1 in 3 (31%) have bet on sports using their phone, and 94% of those admit they find it easier. Gen Zers bet on their phone the most (38%) followed by Millennials (35%). 

Of course, just because it’s easier to bet online doesn’t mean it comes without concerns. Nearly half (48%) are worried about how easy it is to gamble using a phone. That may be a legitimate concern, seeing as how nearly 1 in 4 (24%) admitted they’d made sports bets out of boredom! More men (31%) than women (18%) have found themselves in this predicament. Gen Z and Millennials admit to doing this more than older generations. 

Betting In Person vs. Betting Online

Betting in person versus betting online comparison - report from 

Nearly everyone (89%) most often places bets online than in person. However, the average online bet amount is $57, slightly lower than the $65 people estimate they bet in person. Baby Boomers are the only generation that places bets more in person than online. Gen Zers are two times more likely to bet online than in person. 

People are also drawn to sports betting at some inopportune moments. Nearly 1 in 5 (19%) admit they’ve bet on sports while at work, and nearly 1 in 6 (14%) have made sports bets while on the toilet. That’s not the only thing people have done. More than 1 in 4 (26%) admitted to watching a sports game, and 41% have checked sports scores while on the toilet! 

The Future of Sports Gambling

Future of Sports Gambling - report from 

 As sports betting becomes more commonplace across the nation, 72% believe sports betting is becoming more socially acceptable. Nearly 2 in 3 (64%) feel sports betting should be legal everywhere, but 75% think sports betting should be limited to certain ages. 

In many places, only people 21 and older can bet on sports. Nearly half (49%) agree with that law, sharing that they don’t think people ages 18–20 should be allowed to bet on professional sports. Interestingly, of the Gen Zers 21+ that we surveyed, 55% felt their younger peers should not be allowed to bet. 

It may be because some see dollar signs when they think of sports betting. More than 1 in 4 (26%) think sports betting can be a way to make a living. However, more than half (51%) are worried betting will lead to an addiction, and 35% already know someone with a gambling addiction. More than 1 in 10 (13%) admitted they don’t tell their loved ones that they gamble, and 22% shared they don’t tell their loved ones how much they gamble. 

Sports Betting Advertising 

sports betting advertising and influencers  - report from 

Promotions about sports betting are almost hard not to find. Nearly 3 in 4 (73%) have seen sports betting advertisements for sites such as Fanduel and Caesars. Most people have seen ads on TV along with Youtube and Facebook. More than 1 in 10 (13%) spotted advertisements on TikTok. 

As sports betting continues to grow across the United States, so will the conversation surrounding the future of the industry. We’re entering into new territory, especially with all of this technology, but we hope people will do their research and bet responsibly on the sports they love. 


In May 2023, we surveyed 1,024 people about their sports betting habits and opinions. Respondents ranged in age from 21 to 79 with an average age of 41. 49% were male, 49% female, and 2% non-binary. 13% were Baby Boomers, 25% were Gen X, 49% were Millennials, and 12% were Gen Z. 

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Brief US Online Gambling Overview

As of 2023, online casino games are legal in seven states:

  1. Connecticut: Launched online casinos late in 2021 with only tribal casinos currently.
  2. Delaware: The first state to legalize online gambling, partnered with 888 to offer online play and works closely with the Delaware State Lottery.
  3. Michigan: One of the newer members of the online casino club, launched in 2021. There are more than a dozen online casino apps available.
  4. New Jersey: Home to more online casinos and sportsbooks than any other state in the country. Legalized online casino gaming in 2013.
  5. Pennsylvania: Joined the online casino party in 2019 with just two online casino options. Now offers nearly as many online gambling options as New Jersey.
  6. Rhode Island: Legalized in June 2023 and launch expected in March 2024.
  7. West Virginia: One of the first states to legalize online sports betting and currently one of the few to offer online casinos.

States that may legalize online gambling in the future:

Several states are expected to launch online casinos soon:

  1. Illinois: Online sportsbooks like BetMGM and FanDuel are fully operational in the state. Another push for the legalization of online casinos may come in 2023.
  2. Indiana: Multiple online casino bills failed to pass through Indiana’s state legislature. The state’s iGaming bill may see further consideration in 2023.
  3. Iowa: An online casino (iGaming) bill failed to make it through Iowa’s legislature earlier this year. Iowa might be one of the closest states to legalizing online casinos in 2023.
  4. Ohio launched online sports betting in 2023, and there have been talks on legalized casino games in 2024. Four out of five states bordering Ohio already legalized some form of online gambling, so it might not be too long before online casinos get legalized.
  5. Texas represents a massive market for the possibility of legal internet gambling. After this election year, it’s possible that sports betting in the state may finally get passed this year. It might just be a matter of time before online casinos become legal in The Lone Star State.
  6. Virginia legalized online sports betting in 2020. With online sportsbooks as the only option for placing bets on sports, the eventual legalization of online casinos shouldn’t be too difficult in Virginia.
  7. New York: online casinos can go live by 2024.

Pending bills:

Texas is considering a bill to legalize online casinos and sports betting. The current amendment would provide Class II and III licenses to operators, providing them with limited casino gambling options as well as limited greyhound racing options.

Online Gambling in Other States:

Legal sports betting is currently active in several states including Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, Washington DC, West Virginia, and Wyoming. Maine and Nebraska have also legalized sports betting with launches pending. Casino bonuses like these to be expected.

Legal, regulated online poker is available in Delaware, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. New Jersey has the largest amount of poker networks, while Nevada’s only regulated online poker is through World Series of Poker (WSOP). Similarly, Delaware has one sole poker site, 888 Poker. As for Michigan and Pennsylvania, both states have multiple operators.

Please note that the situation can change rapidly, and it is always a good idea to check the current laws and regulations in your specific state.