The GGR share of unlicensed bookmakers in the US was 65%

Using predictive analytics, Yield Sec released a report earlier this month highlighting that despite the expansion of legal sports betting across the US, the black market remains dominant. The report reveals that the black market accounted for 65% of all wagering Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) in the US.

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In 2023, the projected total GGR in the US was $29.5 billion, with $10.4 billion coming from legal operators. Yield Sec further detailed that 15% of all legal US GGR originated from basketball, 10% from football, and 6% from baseball.

Parlays were the most popular betting option in 2023, representing 54% ($15.9 billion) of the GGR. A company spokesperson explained that although operator data may indicate football as the most bet-on sport in the US, many of these bets are parlays, which Yield Sec categorizes separately.

The report, titled “How America Bets Online,” focuses exclusively on online or digital gambling data.

Yield Sec, a market intelligence platform, employs AI to search the web for gambling-related keywords, refining the collected data. Using legal-market figures as a baseline, the company utilizes machine learning to predict illegal-market activity.

The report does not include a breakdown of bets placed on the black market.

Yield Sec researchers wrote:

Across 2023, Yield Sec monitoring witnessed the dominant control of American audiences by illegal betting and gaming operators across social media, search and the ‘online conversation’. During certain sporting events as much as 80% of social posts linking to betting content were in favour of illegal operators. This was even more noticeable across social video content that linked to betting, with up to 85% of all video content linking to illegal operators, often featuring overt branding for them throughout such posts.

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Yield Sec indicated that its black market numbers are predictions, but pointed to its ability to predict legal-market scenarios with accuracy as proof its system is valid. According to a spokesperson, Yield Sec predicted GGR for the 2024 Super Bowl within about 3% accuracy.

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