Three years after legal sports betting was first allowed in the United States, more than half of America now offer legal sports betting.

According to the American Gaming Association (AGA), gamblers from 26 states and the District of Columbia will be able legally wager on the NFL season when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers kick off Thursday’s NFL season. There may also be five other states that offer such bets before the Super Bowl.

This is an increase from the 18 states that had legalized sports betting at last year’s start to the football season. Some of the largest markets in the U.S. are beginning to legalize sports betting, including California, Florida and New York.

As more companies join the fray, the industry’s explosive growth makes it harder to hold on to market share and profit.

It is making it worse for people who have gambling problems as the industry comes up with new ways of betting on sports, such as live micro-betting on the outcome, such as the next possession in a football match.

Eric Hession (co-president of Caesars Digital), said that “there’s no doubt this will be an enormous year, and it would be a record,” adding that Caesars Digital bought William Hill this year and renamed Caesars Sportsbook.

Jerry Arnold, a supervisor at FanDuel’s Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford (New Jersey), just outside of New York City said that one trend is evident.

He said that there were many people with a lot more money. They’re receiving unemployment or stimulus checks, and they want to increase their income by at least two or three times. They will say it all the time, “I just got a check and now I want to make it twice.”

FanDuel serves as the official odds provider to The Associated Press.

According to the American Gaming Association (the national trade association for the casino industry), more than 45 million Americans plan to place bets on the NFL’s season. This is 36% more than last year.

Sean Williams, a New London resident who now lives in New Jersey but is originally from Connecticut, was recently at Meadowlands to place a $1,000 bet on the New England Patriots winning the Super Bowl. Three years ago, he won a sports wager and has returned every year.

He said, “I came to this place and won a thousand. So I’m going to keep flipping these tickets ’til my million,” That’s my goal. Play with their money. Have confidence “I came here to win.”

Mobile betting is responsible for more than 80 percent of the sports betting revenue. This includes a lot of live betting as games are ongoing.