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More states, more bets: Legal Super Bowl LVII wagering could top $1B nationally

Howard Stutz
Howard Stutz

Legal betting on Sunday’s Super Bowl LVII is expected to top the $1 billion mark nationally for the first time although that figure is a fraction of what experts think will be wagered through informal or illegal bets on the game.

But that record might not filter down to Nevada sportsbooks.

Analysts predict Nevada operators will accept more Super Bowl wagers than any of the other 32 states where sports betting is legal. But they also think Nevada’s single-year record of $179.8 million in Super Bowl bets achieved in 2022 will be safe at least until Las Vegas hosts Super Bowl LVIII next year at Allegiant Stadium.

David Grolman, a senior vice president at Caesars Entertainment’s Caesars Sportsbook, isn’t buying those predictions, though. He thinks there’s a chance the Silver State’s betting record could shatter over the weekend. He said Thursday there has been strong interest in the matchup between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs and would not be surprised if Nevada’s Super Bowl wagering total comes close to last year’s figure.

“We’re seeing a lot of interest. There's just an energy and excitement about sports wagering around the country,” he said. “We expect a pretty good crowd at Caesars Palace and at all nine of our locations in Las Vegas.”

A spokesman for Caesars Sportsbook said the Caesars Palace watch party is setting up bleacher seating in the conference space because of the large crowds.

“The Super Bowl is the biggest sports day in America and especially in Las Vegas,” Grolman said. “Eagles fans travel well, [Chiefs quarterback] Patrick Mahomes has a big following and we put out the proposition sheet with about 2,000 different ways to bet.”

Caesars Sportsbook, which operates in 18 states and Washington, D.C., is considered one of the top four sports betting providers in terms of wagering and revenue and is expected to factor heavily into the national total.

Southern California advisory firm Eilers & Krejeck Gaming is projecting $1.06 billion in Super Bowl wagering, saying the game accounts for nearly 1 percent of the sports betting industry’s total annual wagers according to the firm’s estimates.

Catena Media, which owns the PlayUSA network of gaming news websites, set the total at $1.1 billion, saying the addition of three legal sports betting states since the 2022 Super Bowl factored new gamblers into the equation.

Also, the game’s location in Arizona – the first time the Super Bowl is taking place in a legal sports betting market – increases the likelihood that wagering will surpass the $950 million in legal bets placed last year on Super Bowl LVI.

“The 2023 Super Bowl could draw more bets than any other game in the history of U.S. sports,” said Catena Media lead analyst Eric Ramsey.

Nevada is still No. 1

Both firms predicted Nevada sportsbooks would lead the nation with the most wagers of any state.

Eilers & Krejcik predicted Nevada’s sports betting industry would take in $155 million in wagers on the Super Bowl, roughly 15 percent of the nation’s overall handle.

Consultant Chris Grove said the location of last year’s Super Bowl in Los Angeles, where the hometown Los Angeles Rams defeated the Cincinnati Bengals, 23-20, boosted Nevada’s betting numbers.

However, it won’t matter which teams face off at Allegiant Stadium in 12 months.

“We wouldn’t be surprised to see $200 million bet on the game in Nevada next year,” Grove said.

Eilers & Krejcik predicted New York sportsbooks will have the second-largest share of all wagers behind Nevada this year, with 11 percent. Pennsylvania, home to the NFC champion Eagles, will likely capture the third-biggest share, 9 percent. However, Grove suggested Pennsylvania’s numbers could be elevated by interest in the in-state team.

The AFC champion Chiefs play their home games in Kansas City, Missouri, a state that has not legalized sports betting. Eilers & Krejcik suggested that the team draws heavy wagering interest from bordering Kansas City, Kansas, though, where sports betting is legal.

Both firms said Ohio, which launched legal sports betting on Jan. 1, would crack the top five states for sports wagers, making a significant contribution to the nation’s Super Bowl total.

State Farm Stadium is in Glendale, part of the Phoenix metropolitan area. Analysts expect Arizona’s online sportsbooks will see increased wagering activity and the state’s retail sportsbooks could experience their highest single-day wagering activity. A BetMGM sportsbook and tavern is adjacent to the stadium.

Caesars Sportsbook at Chase Field in downtown Phoenix is hosting a Super Bowl watch party for top customers. The public can also watch the game at Guy Fieri’s DTPHX Kitchen + Bar, which shares space with the sportsbook.

A customer places a bet on a kiosk ahead of Super Bowl LVII at Caesars Sportsbook inside Caesars Palace on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2023. (Jeff Scheid/The Nevada Independent)

AGA says $16 billion is to be wagered

Meanwhile, the American Gaming Association (AGA) expects more than 50 million Americans will gamble an estimated $16 billion on the Super Bowl, both legally in one of 33 sports betting states, with illegal offshore sites or bookies and through casual bets with friends, including office pools or betting squares.

The Washington, D.C. trade organization has made the elimination of illegal wagering a key priority in 2023.

In the AGA’s annual survey on Super Bowl wagering, the group noted more than one-third of NFL fans said the expansion of legal sports betting has made watching an NFL game more exciting. AGA CEO Bill Miller said interest in the game highlights the benefits of legal sports betting.

“As interest in legal sports betting continues to expand, the gaming industry remains committed to responsibly delivering world-class entertainment, educating consumers about how to bet responsibly and combating illegal gambling as we work to build a safe, competitive and sustainable legal market for all,” Miller said.


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