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Super Bowl LVII Sets Betting Records

This year’s iteration of the Super Bowl was the first to be played in a state where sports gambling is legal and analysis of early data indicates that it was a record-breaking day for sportsbooks across the United States.

Super Bowl

Key takeaways

  • Active betting accounts up 32 percent from last year
  • Betting is still as popular in Las Vegas despite the rise in popularity of online sportsbooks
  • An estimated $16 billion bet on this year’s Super Bowl

More than 100,000 geo-location checks came from in and around State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, from more than 8,000 betting accounts, according to GeoComply, who monitor online sports-betting transactions to ensure bets are being made in states where it is legal.

They also reported making 100 million geo-location checks during the Super Bowl weekend, up 25% from last year’s game. The company counted 7.4 million active betting accounts over the weekend, up 32% from last year.

Wagering levels were also high in Las Vegas, with MGMResorts claiming to have set a new company record for Nevada, combining the money bet in its nine retail sportsbooks on the Strip and bets placed through the BetMGM app.

MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada
Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash

The Super Bowl is crucial for gambling companies. Sports-betting operators seize the game as an opportunity to acquire new customers, while also trying to manage their risk as money pours in from gamblers betting on all aspects of the game. In the event of an unlikely event – such as a big volume of gamblers correctly picking the final score – sportsbooks stand to lose millions. 

BetMGM took one bet for half a million dollars on the Kansas City Chiefs that paid out $525,000, another bet of $547,000 to win and one of $437,000 on the over, which was 49.5 points. 

Chiefs fans at the victory parade want everyone back again next year
Photo by Brock Wegner on Unsplash

BetMGM sports trader Seamus Magee said in a statement “the Chiefs winning the Super Bowl was a good outcome for the sportsbook, but bettors made more money with the over hitting”. 

At DraftKings, one bettor put $1.68 million on the Chiefs which paid out an eye-watering $2.68 million.

FanDuel was expected to handle more than 17 million Super Bowl bets. At its peak, the sportsbook told CNBC, it accepted 50,000 bets per minute and averaged 2 million active users on its platform throughout the game.

The American Gaming Association, the trade group that represents the casino industry, projected a record 50.4 million Americans would wager $16 billion on this year’s Super Bowl, double last year’s estimate. That includes not only bets placed with legal sportsbooks, which the AGA estimates at about $1 billion, but also any action placed with unregulated offshore sites, bookies, and social bets among friends or coworkers. If that proves true, that would be double last year’s estimates.

James Fallows

James Fallows

A qualified sports journalist, James is more than familiar with all aspects of the gambling world. At The Curious Gambler, James is keen to delve deeper into what makes this billion-dollar industry tick and offer up some well-learned advice along the way.