The increasing popularity of the NFL and the growing media attention could be driving factors for the expansion of sports betting legalization in the United States, according to Macquarie analyst Chad Beynon. In a new report, Beynon stated that the upcoming Super Bowl in Las Vegas could be a catalyst for broader legalization in the U.S., with the game and NFL popularity potentially supporting the cause.

At present, 38 states and Washington, D.C. permit sports wagering, but not all allow mobile betting. Beynon believes that the NFL’s strong ratings and the legalization of sports betting have been major contributors to its success, and that the upcoming Super Bowl in Las Vegas will bring even more attention to the sports and sports betting industries.

The highly anticipated Super Bowl commercials are also expected to feature spots from sportsbook operators, further increasing public awareness. However, there are concerns about the potential impact of a 60 Minutes report on sports betting, which is scheduled to air. Despite potential negative coverage, increased media attention, including heightened ESPN Bet advertising, could ultimately lead to further interest and legalization in the next couple of years.

In terms of legislative outlook for 2024, Beynon notes that just 50% of wagering adults have access to mobile betting due to restrictions in certain states. Furthermore, neither California nor Texas appear close to legalizing sports betting, with Texas potentially having a more significant impact on the industry if it were to join the legal camp.

The recent listing of FanDuel parent Flutter Entertainment on the New York Stock Exchange is also seen as a potential catalyst for the expansion of sports wagering in the U.S. As more institutional investors embrace Flutter and its shares potentially join widely followed domestic equity gauges, the ensuing attention could positively impact the legalization front.

Overall, the ongoing popularity of the NFL, upcoming Super Bowl in Las Vegas, and the recent developments in the sports betting industry could play significant roles in driving the expansion of sports wagering legalization in the United States.

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