The 2020 Super Bowl is in the books. While the result on the field is determined, we are still waiting on some of the betting numbers out of some of the states with legalized betting platforms. From what we have seen so far though, betting operators may be in for a mixed bag.
So far, 10 states have reported their Super Bowl handle and the number is impressive. Nearly $270 million was taken in on the big game from the reported states. Keep in mind that the legal betting total likely won't touch the overall legal/illegal betting amount of $6.8 billion that the American Gaming Association expects will have been wagered on the game.
Gaming Control Board senior research analyst Michael Lawton said of the numbers recorded this year: “This year’s game benefited from several factors, including sustained economic growth, a great matchup which induced in-game wagers, the continued popularity, and variety of proposition bets, and, of course, the nonstop positive attention and exposure the media provides for this event and sports wagering in general.”
The Chiefs won on the field, but a deeper look into some of the numbers show that some states actually lost. The 31-20 score pushed some books to report a negative hold. Let's take a closer look at what happened and which state reigned supreme.
To nobody's surprise, Nevada leads the way in handle for the Super Bowl with a $154.7 taken in. 190 sportsbooks contributed to the impressive handle and the take for the books came in at $18.8 million. It was their second-highest Super Bowl handle ever, coming in behind only 2018's $158.6 million. The numbers out of Nevada are half of the total for all of the states that have reported so far combined.
“The growth from last year was phenomenal,” Sunset Station sportsbook director Chuck Esposito said. “It was a little bit of having fresh teams in there in the West Coast 49ers and Chiefs and (Super Bowl MVP) Patrick Mahomes. And not having the Patriots.”
New Jersey and Pennsylvania
Another relative non-surprise is the fact that New Jersey and Pennsylvania came in second and third respectively as far as Super Bowl handles go. Both states saw their handles increase over last year but both recorded a net loss for its gambling operators.
New Jersey's handle climbed over last year by taking in $54.2 million in bets compared to the $34.8 million handle from the 2019 Super Bowl. Pennsylvania's handle for the day was $30.7 million.
The Garden State's revenues came in at negative $4.3 million or a negative hold of 7.8% while sportsbooks in the Keystone State lost $3.3 million.
Mississippi regulators reported taking in $6.7 million worth of bets on this year's Super Bowl and $5.5 million was bet in Rhode Island (down from $6.5 million last year when the beloved Patriots played).
New Hampshire is on the board with $2.3 million wagered in just their second month of legalized betting prompting Charlie McIntyre, executive director of the New Hampshire Lottery to say: “We are extremely pleased with the results from our first Super Bowl and our first month overall of sports betting, and we look forward to continuing to build on this success as we engage more and more players,"
Delaware citizens wagered $2.1 million on the game and saw a positive hold, Oregon took in $2 million in Super Bowl bets, West Virginia reported $3.9 million in wagers and Iowa came in with $6.5 million in bets at legal facilities for the 2020 Super Bowl.
The gulf between the legal and black-market betting revenues is starting to close but less than half of the American population is still without the ability to place a bet legally, making those bettors head for the black market. By the time the 2021 Super Bowl rolls around, more than half of the US population should be able to bet legally. The 2020 legal betting numbers are impressive but 2021 figures to blow 2020 out of the water.