Super Bowl LVIII Ushers in New Era of American Sports Betting

  • Super Bowl LVIII broke multiple records, including many for sports betting
  • It proved a perfect storm due to the location and presence of a certain pop star
  • US betting grows significantly each year, and it seems there is no slowing it down
Chiefs vs 49ers visual
Super Bowl LVIII shattered records for betting in the US. [Image:]

Through the roof

Super Bowl LVIII proved a historic one for a number of reasons – the Kansas City Chiefs became the first NFL team to win back-to-back championships since 2004, Patrick Mahomes won his third Super Bowl MVP, and the game was the most watched TV event in American televised history.

15,000 Americans were placing bets on the big game each second

All that said, it’s the betting that interests us the most, and that was rampant. Minutes before kick off on Sunday, 15,000 Americans were placing bets on the big game each second – that’s according to data from GeoComply, a firm that verifies legal wagers based on geolocation data. Verification checks increased by more than 22% from last year.

Nevada casinos also smashed the previous record for the most bets taken for any Super Bowl in history, accepting $185.6m wagers. Meanwhile, America’s biggest sportsbook in terms of market share, FanDuel, said it took 14 million bets on the game, setting a new record.

A Super Bowl in the gambling center of the US was bound to break records, but the unprecedented wagering for this year’s event shows that the US is making serious strides on its betting journey.

Aligning stars

If you’re wondering why the Super Bowl generated so much interest from bettors, the answer lies in a series of aligning stars.

Firstly, Las Vegas hosted the game at the Allegiant Stadium, adjacent to the world-famous Strip and its many retail sportsbooks. It’s the first Super Bowl ever to take place in Las Vegas and marks an important milestone for the city in its attempt to become one of the world’s sports capitals.

Las Vegas has committed nearly $7bn to turn itself into a global sports capital over recent years. This includes new arenas and deals with sporting leagues. Over just the past calendar year, the gambling hub has hosted the NBA’s Summer League and In-Season Tournament finals, as well as a Formula 1 Grand Prix.

Then, the star power of Taylor Swift worked wonders for sportsbooks. As you probably know by now, she is dating Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, and so was present at the big game to support the football star. Sportsbooks capitalized on this by offering Taylor-based prop bets, including what color top she might be wearing and whether Kelce would propose at the end of the game.

Finally, the game itself played its part too. The thrilling nature of the Chiefs’ overtime win kept bettors enthralled and staking throughout, with most backing Kansas. Caesars Sportsbook Vice President of Trading Craig Mucklow deemed it a “good game for the customers,” while MGM Resorts Director of Trading Lamarr Mitchell said “the public got the best of us today.”

All of this helped contribute to the record-setting Super Bowl, in addition to the ever-growing state of US betting.

The landscape of US betting

So, how has the landscape of US betting changed since the previous Super Bowl and how could it evolve before the next?

A total of 38 states currently offer legal sports betting in some form, in addition to Washington DC. Since the previous Super Bowl in February 2023, Maine, Vermont, and Florida have all joined the ranks of legal sports betting states, the latter after a lot of back-and-forth in the courts between tribal members and local stakeholders.  

completed more than 122 million checks of online wagers

The top states in terms of all-time betting handle include New Jersey ($45.69bn), Nevada ($37.72bn), New York ($35.85bn), Illinois ($30,28bn), and Pennsylvania ($26.58bn). All of these states have online betting too, although only 29 of the total 38 states with sports betting do in total. GeoComply said that it completed more than 122 million checks of online wagers during the Super Bowl in these states.

As for the top sportsbooks, FanDuel still leads the way in sports betting market share according to the most recent figures, even though DraftKings recently surpassed it for overall online gambling. In its 14 million Super Bowl bets, FanDuel took $307m on the big game. Those bets came from 2.5 million customers across the US.

As for the future, it seems the sky is the limit. America’s most populated state, California, is still out of the picture for the time being despite recent efforts. Meanwhile, sports betting bills are making their way through the legislature in Georgia, Mississippi, and even Hawaii. If we see these states and more open the door to betting this year, the next Super Bowl could prove even more profitable for sportsbooks.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *