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Sportsbooks Report Surge in Super Bowl Betting

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Sportsbooks Report Surge in Super Bowl Betting
Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium on February 07, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images/AFP

There were high hopes in US legal sports betting circles that Super Bowl 55 would set a new standard as far as legal wagers go. So far, the data trickling in from participating states has not disappointed, despite reports of the marked decline in television viewership and the technical issues experienced by a few top-tier providers prior to the Big Game.

In the weeks leading up to the game, the American Gaming Association (AGA) predicted 23.3 million Americans would place at least one wager on the Super Bowl, and betting totals were expected to touch $4.3 billion. So far, the US legal sports betting total stands at about $436.6 million from 12 states plus Washington, DC. In total, $262.5m in legal bets was reported over the same period as last year’s Super Bowl.

The US Scene Ahead of Super Bowl 55

The US legal sports betting market expanded drastically between Super Bowl 54 and 55. Seven states including Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Montana, Tennessee, Virginia, and Washington DC were welcomed into the US legal betting fold over the 12 months, adding in the range of 70 million citizens that are now eligible to place a legal wager. The US scene finds itself in the midst of a gold-rush.

The evolution of mobile betting apps was also exponential between the 2020 and 2021 NFL Championship game, and that certainly helped to drive up the betting total, especially considering the rash of COVID-closures of casinos and the discouragement of Super Bowl gatherings.

The AGA reported in November that mobile apps are now responsible for about 80% of the National sports betting handle which is up considerably from the year prior. There are now states with online-only platforms and others that consistently report over 90% of their monthly handles coming via internet-based sites. Betting convenience from mobile apps was likely a factor in the reported Super Bowl betting surge.

A Breakdown of the Top States So Far

The state of Nevada gained a measure of redemption, coming in as the state with the biggest Super Bowl sports betting handle. This after months of playing bridesmaid to New jersey in terms of their monthly handle. For Super Bowl 55, Nevada sportsbooks generated $136.1 million in bets on the game, with a 9.2% hold and $12.6 million in revenue.

While impressive, the handle actually showed a decline of 12% and a revenue drop of 33% from last year’s game.

New Jersey, the undisputed new “King of the Legal Sports Betting States” came in second in terms of Super Bowl handle with $117.4 million from its 12 retail and 21 online sportsbooks. It represents an astounding 116% increase over last year’s game, but still came up short in the race to be the top betting dog.

Pennsylvania was third in terms of betting dollars taken in for the Super Bowl. Sportsbooks in the Keystone State brought in $53.6 million in bets for Super Bowl 55, eclipsing the $30.6 million it took in last year at this time.

Overall Transactions Are a Different Story

Pennsylvania, despite coming in third in terms of the money spent on Super Bowl, registered the most betting transactions according to GeoComply, “the global leader in geolocation and compliance technology”. The state reported 6,396,479 sports betting transactions on Saturday and Sunday alone, besting all other states in the Nation.

New Jersey was second in the GeoComply report issued Monday with 6,309,362 betting transactions Super Bowl weekend and they rode those transactions to the second-most dollars generated. Nevada’s transaction record hadn’t been released at the time of GeoComply’s media release Monday.

Other States

Illinois, one of the “new kids on the betting block” shockingly released their Super Bowl betting numbers quickly. They are typically the last state to report their monthly sports betting handles but hustled their reporting for the Big Game. The legal Illinois sports betting market took $45.6 million in handle – 93.7% of which came online.

Colorado sportsbooks took $31.2 million in bets, Iowa’s sportsbooks reported $16.3 million in bets, Tennessee $15,427,000, Mississippi $8,000,000, Rhode Island $6,500,000, and Oregon with $3,465,472 round out the most successful states in terms of Super Bowl betting handles.

Unfortunately, the two Heavyweight sport betting states of Indiana and Michigan look as though they will not report on their game-specific handle for this year’s Super Bowl.

Predictions prior to Super Bowl 55 were that $500 million would be bet legally on the game. With 12 of the 20 legal sports betting states reporting, it appears the US scene is on pace to easily eclipse that number. With the US market only growing, expectations are that the 2021 Super Bowl betting totals will be dwarfed in the future. It’s hard not to place a wager on that.