New research commissioned by the American Gaming Association suggests that the National Football League (NFL) could increase its revenue by as much as $2.3bn annually as a result of legalised sports betting.

The Nielsen Sports study analyzes the revenue streams that legal sports betting could generate for the NFL, including through advertising, data, sponsorships and increased consumption of the league’s media and products.

It says that greater fan engagement and viewership could boost the NFL’s total annual revenue from media rights, sponsorships, merchandise and ticket sales by 13.4 per cent, generating $1.75bn in new revenue from increased consumption.

The study estimates that gaming operators may spend $451m on advertising, which will directly increase the league’s rights fees by the same amount, with an additional $92m in sponsorship revenue and $30m in data revenue for the league and its teams.

"Legal, regulated sports betting will create huge new revenue opportunities for sports leagues – and the NFL could be the biggest winner of all," said Sara Slane, senior vice president of public affairs for the American Gaming Association.

"Once legal sports betting expands across the country, the NFL could take in more than $2 billion a year, reinforcing how much sports leagues stand to gain from increased viewership and private partnerships with sports betting operators."

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