US Sports Betting Update – Super Bowl Weekend Broke Records for US Sportsbooks
Legal sportsbooks across the United States enjoyed their busiest weekend on record as the Rams beat the Bengals at Super Bowl 56. Interest in the game was high after a terrific run of playoff clashes leading up to it. An eagerly anticipated half-time show featuring hip-hop legends such as Dr Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mary J Blige and Eminem also helped to drive renewed interest in Super Bowl 56. TV viewership figures surged 6% year-on-year to an estimated 101.1 million, while another 11.2 million streamed the game, taking the total audience to 112.3 million.
Many football fans grabbed a slice of the action by wagering on the Super Bowl. GeoComply reported more than 80 million pings across the country on Super Bowl weekend, an increase of 126% compared to 2021. Geolocation pings occur when somebody logs into a sports betting account and places a bet.
Operator BetMGM said that a record number of first-time users signed up for its app. It handled twice as many bets as it did last year. “We’re encouraged by strong results over the weekend, with Super Bowl LVI being the most bet on Super Bowl to date,” said chief executive Adam Greenblatt. DraftKings Sportsbook also reported that Super Bowl bets placed through its app doubled compared to 2021, and added that it paid out $175 million to customers.
Nevada Finally Breaks Record Set in 2018
Ten states have now reported Super Bowl handle figures. Nevada sportsbooks broke a record set four years ago by handling $179.8 million on the game. That represented a 32.1% increase on 2021. Revenue in Nevada was $15.4 million, a 22.6% year-on-year increase. It equates to an 8.6% hold, which is above average.
Silver State sportsbooks have grown accustomed to taking large bets from Houston tycoon Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, but he placed his $4.53 million Super Bowl wager in Louisiana this year. The state has just legalized sports betting, so McIngvale drove over the border and used the Caesars Sportsbook app while parked up outside a gas station. Mattress Mack bet on the Bengals, and he looked on course for a $7.71 million profit until a late drive from Rams QB Matthew Stafford snatched a 23-20 victory from the jaws of defeat.
Despite missing out on McIngvale’s bet, Nevada sportsbooks finally broke the record they set in 2018. “This year’s total continued the trends we have been witnessing in sports wagering during 2021, where the state saw three consecutive months of over $1 billion in wagers and an all-time annual record was established with $8.1 billion,” said Nevada Gaming Control Board senior economic analyst Michael Lawton in an email to the Las Vegas Review Journal. “The catalyst for this year’s record was that Sunday’s game had two very distinct betting options for customers due to the spread being at -4½ and the money line wagers, which attracted healthy action on both sides.”
Revenue Dips on the East Coast
New Jersey sportsbooks handled $143.7 million in Super Bowl wagers. That represented a 22.4% increase on 2021, which is a healthy performance when you consider that it no longer benefits from an influx of New Yorkers. However, revenue fell 31% year-on-year to $7.8
million. The sportsbooks made a killing last year, as bettors piled in on the Chiefs to cover the spread, only for the Buccaneers to pull off an upset. It was much tighter this year, as the Rams won the game, but the Bengals covered the point spread, and many prop bets were successful thanks to strong performances from Cooper Kupp and Odell Beckham Jr.
A similar situation took place in Pennsylvania. Super Bowl bets in the Keystone State increased 26.9% to $68 million, but revenue dipped 51.3% to $4.6 million. Illinois has the fourth largest handle of the states that have reported thus far, with $60.5 million, and revenue in the state increased 24.1% to $9.5 million. Delaware, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, Oregon and Tennessee have also reported Super Bowl trading figures. It puts the total handle at $496.5 million and revenue at $41.2 million so far, but large states like New York are still yet to report their figures.
One bettor that enjoyed a strong Super Bowl was Canadian rapper Drake. He did not play at a legal US sportsbook, but he wagered $1.26 million in Bitcoin bets on Super Bowl LVI. Drake bet $471,000 on a moneyline win for the Rams and $393,000 on Beckham to score a touchdown. Both paid off. A third wager, on Beckham to manage more than 62.5 receiving yards, failed after the wide receiver was forced off early with a knee injury. Yet Drake still walked away with more than $1.5 million in BTC, leaving him with a healthy profit for the game.
New Jersey Sportsbooks Set a New Record in January
New Jersey sportsbooks handled a record $1.35 billion worth of wagers in January. It was not enough to beat the new national record of $1.6 billion, which neighboring New York set in its first month of legal sports betting, but it was the Garden State’s largest ever handle. Some analysts expected the handle in New Jersey to plummet due to a lack of New Yorkers crossing the border to place their bets, but it continues to go from strength-to-strength.
The $1.35 billion handle represented a 40.7% year-on-year increase compared to January 2021, and it was also 9.7% up on the previous month. The hold was just 4.5%, so it was a pretty good month for bettors, resulting in $60.2 million in revenue and $8 million in taxes for the state. GeoComply reported that just 9.3% of the accounts wagering in New York in January had previously placed bets at New Jersey sportsbooks, which bodes well for the future health of the Garden State’s industry. Basketball was the most popular sport among bettors, accounting for $553.7 million in wagers, compared to $340.3 million wagered on football.