Piplsay Study Suggests Broad Support For Legal Sports Betting

Written By Derek Helling on February 28, 2020
Sports betting survey

As the state of Illinois moves closer to its first legal wager on sports, one of the questions is exactly how many people will place bets. If a recent Piplsay study is any indication, that number could be high.

Half of the study’s respondents approved of sports betting legalization. Although it’s important to keep the research in proper context, there are some positive inferences.

The details of the Piplsay study on sports betting

Piplsay conducted an online survey this month. The results come from the nearly 29,000 people who completed that survey.

Of those 28,553 respondents, 61% said they are not interested in betting on sports. Another 10% said they do not wager upon sports because it’s illegal in their jurisdictions.

The other 29% stated they place wagers regularly. Out of that group, 42% of them said they do so online, which was the biggest segment.

The biggest positive was that 47% of respondents supported legalizing sports betting. Compared to 27% who weren’t sure and 25% who did not support it, that’s a strong showing.

While that suggests attitudes in Illinois may be favorable to legal sportsbooks, it’s important to take these numbers with a grain of salt. The context here is crucial.

Why these numbers may not tell us much about Illinois

The study reveals few demographic factors about the respondents. While it does give some information about age and gender, there is no information about where in the US the respondents live, for example.

It’s entirely possible that none or very few of the respondents call Illinois home. If that’s the case, then that weakens the applications of this study for this specific purpose.

Additionally, it’s hard to say that this study speaks for even a majority of people in the US. A sample of 28,553 equates to less than a tenth of 1% of the total US population.

That doesn’t mean this study has no value, however. It just has to be used correctly. The biggest value that this study has is in giving sportsbooks insight on whom their target audience is.

Sportsbooks’ most likely customers

The numbers of this study show that the people most likely to wager upon sporting events are millennial men. For example, 61% of the men who responded approved of sports betting legalization, as opposed to just 40% of women.

On the age scale, 41% of millennials stated they regularly bet on sports. That’s a considerable gap with older and younger respondents, as just 33% of Gen Xers and 29% of Gen Zers said they do the same thing.

With this information, sportsbooks can tailor their marketing to channels where they are most likely to reach millennial men. That will include all forms of media.

Illinois residents, prepare to see a barrage of such advertising in the coming months. Legal sportsbooks will open soon, perhaps next month, and they want your business.

If you’re a millennial man, they’ll likely be especially coming for you. If you’re part of the segment that plans to place wagers once they open, that is good news, as that marketing will likely contain some great promotions.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a lead writer for PlayUSA and the manager of BetHer. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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