Sports Betting Apps Popularity Rises as Regulations Change Across the US

What’s Happening:

Since the US federal ban on sports betting was lifted four years ago, state governments have been slowly rolling out their own policies. As more states change regulations around sports betting, especially ahead of major sporting events, sports betting apps are seeing a surge in downloads. When Michigan and New York opened up online sports betting ahead of the Super Bowl in January 2021 and January 2022, respectively, nearly all major sports betting apps saw a spike in downloads. When Arizona changed its state regulations on sports betting in September 2021, by January 2022 (again, ahead of the Super Bowl) the state had set a new state record with the handle figure, the amount of money in wagers accepted, of $563.6M.’s mobile data shows the intersection of latent demand for sports betting apps and seasonal sports events. We expect to see upticks in downloads for the upcoming Kentucky Derby in May 2022.

Why it Matters:

Mobile is the go-to portal for most people. As laws in a highly-regulated industry shift, mobile is often the first place for shifting consumer behavior to surface. App publishers should consider User Acquisition and promotional strategies during these times — including marketing, app store optimization (ASO) and paid search — to sustain the boost from state-led policy changes. These strategies — alone or bundled — can boost awareness and downloads for sports betting apps by building hype for upcoming sports events including March Madness or the World Cup.
Other highlights in the category:

  • Barstool Sportsbook & Casino saw the largest increase the month leading up to the beginning of the 2021 NFL Season, with downloads in September 2021 seeing an 85% increase.
  • Compared to downloads at the start of 2021, DraftKings Sportsbook & Casino saw the highest surge in downloads during the Super Bowl LVI
  • BetMGM Sports saw the highest surge in downloads during March Madness 2022 compared to the start of 2021.
  • Despite FanDuel, DraftKings and BetMGM Sports capturing the bulk of downloads among sports betting apps, seasonality trends and different sporting events can substantially influence rank order.
  • FOX Bet Super 6 is the only UK-based sports betting app out of the competitive set, leading in terms of active users in March 2022. Its weekly cash rewards to players that correctly predict the outcome of US sporting competitions such as MLB, NFL, NASCAR, and NBA was likely a huge draw for its large user base.

Timely marketing promotions of sports betting apps can also help improve engagement in-app, especially during peak sports betting season. Sports betting apps are a well-established industry in the UK, and recently, we saw usage peak off the back of the 2022 Cheltenham Festival.