US Sports Betting Update – Super Bowl Betting Handle Expected to Surpass $7bn
Football fans will wager a record breaking $7.61 billion on Super Bowl 56 this weekend, according to the American Gaming Association. It expects 31.4 million American adults to wager on the showdown between the Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals at SoFi Stadium. That would represent a 35% increase on last year.
Several states have legalized online sports wagering since Super Bowl 55, including New York, Louisiana, Arizona, Connecticut and Wyoming. It means that an additional 45 million Americans can legally wager on the game in their home states compared to 2021. Thirty states and the District of Columbia now have legal sports betting in one form or another, so the betting handle is expected to spike.
The AGA revealed its predictions after conducting its annual survey of 2,212 adults earlier this month. It quizzed them on their plans for the big game, and then scaled up the results to account for the entire adult population. It now expects 18.2 million American adults to place traditional sports bets on the Super Bowl, either online or at a retail venue, which is up 78% from 2021. A further 18.5 million plan to be casually with friends or as part of a pool or squares contest, up 23% year-on-year.
New York Quickly Becomes the Largest State for Sports Betting
New York’s legal online sports betting industry began when BetRivers, Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook launched on January 8. Despite not trading for a full month, sportsbooks in the Empire State handled $1.6 billion worth of wagers in January, according to a report from the New York State Gaming Commission. That smashed the previous national record of $1.3 billion, which was set by neighboring New Jersey in October 2021.
Caesars stormed into an early lead in New York. It handled more than $615 million worth of bets in January, generating $56 million in revenue. It is perhaps unsurprising that Caesars proved popular, as it launched with a phenomenal welcome bonus: a $300 free bet, plus a 100% deposit match offer worth up to $3,000. That eye-watering offer has now ended, and rivals are starting to catch up.
FanDuel overtook Caesars to become the number one sportsbook in New York for the final week in January, with a handle of $141.8 million compared to $128.1 million for Caesars and $102.2 million for DraftKings. For the 23 days of trading in January, FanDuel finished second with a handle of $502 million and revenue of $23.6 million. DraftKings was next with $267 million in bets and $25 million in revenue.
New Rivals Assemble
BetMGM, which launched 10 days after its rivals in New York, came in fourth with $78 million handled and $3.2 million in revenue during January. DraftKings, Caesars, FanDuel and BetMGM are offering lucrative boosted odds promos in the build-up to the Super Bowl. BetRivers, which offers a more modest sign-up bonus 32 million in bets and generated $837,035 in revenue. New York takes a 51% tax on revenue – and it does not permit operators to deduct bonus spend before paying the tax – so it made $58 million from $121 million in gross gaming revenue during January.
PointsBet and WynnBET have also joined the party in New York, so competition is heating up. In the final week of January, FanDuel handled $141.8 million, followed by Caesars ($128.1 million,) DraftKings ($102.2 million), BetMGM ($37.5 million), PointsBet ($29.5 million) and BetRivers ($10.3 million). WynnBET did not launch in time for that week.
Senator Joe Addabbo, one of the leading figures in the push to legalize online sports betting in the state, was delighted by the strong start.
“When we brought mobile sports betting to New York, we had confidence it was going to be a success, but to be able to break the national record of total handle for sports betting in a single month in our very first month, with primarily only six sportsbooks, is both rewarding and exciting,” he said. “Breaking this record proves that New York was ready for mobile sports betting and we are providing our state with a new revenue, educational and addiction funding source. It also can give us an indication of where we go from here, especially with the Super Bowl within our sights.”
PointsBet Remains on the Expansion Trail
PointsBet went live in New York on January 25, making it the ninth state to host the brand. It has now added a 10th state after launching in Pennsylvania this week. PointsBet is now available in Colorado, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia. Only DraftKings, BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, FanDuel and BetRivers/PlaySugarHouse are now more widely available in the United States.
“Pennsylvania ranks as one of the top five sports betting markets in the U.S. and is supported by forward-thinking leaders at the state's Gaming Control Board,” said PointsBet USA chief executive Jonny Aitken. “We appreciate the opportunity to bring the fastest online sports betting product and an unrivaled in-game betting experience to the fans of Pennsylvania.”
PointsBet stands out by offering traditional, fixed-odds betting alongside points betting, which is similar to speculating on financial CFDs, but with a focus on sporting events. For example, if you bet on Matthew Stafford to throw for over 286 yards, and he throws 296 yards, you earn 10 times your bet amount in profit. However, if he only throws 276 yards, you lose 10 times your bet amount, so it can be risky.
PointsBet has signed up Philadelphia 76ers legend Allen Iverson as a brand ambassador to boost brand recognition in Pennsylvania.
“PointsBet is the best in the business, and it’s exciting to be able to bring the top-rated sports betting app to Pennsylvania, especially the enthusiastic and supportive fans in Philadelphia,” said the former NBA MVP. “I know speed and agility, and PointsBet’s superior technology and live same game parlay capabilities for NBA and NFL games are where it’s at.”