In a week that has seen several big predictions around the levels of betting on this year’s Super Bowl final, analyst PlayUSA has added its own projections, suggesting that $400m will be legally wagered on America’s biggest televised sporting event.
Thirteen states representing a population of 70 million people will offer some form of legal sports betting for the NFL showcase game said the firm. And even if the final total falls short of the projected $400m, it will almost certainly bring in more money via legal sportsbooks than ever before.
“With the proliferation of legal sports betting across the US, there is no doubt that this will be a record year for legal bets on the Super Bowl,” said Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for PlayUSA.com. “An interesting matchup that is nearly a pick ’em will help spur action, too. As a result, records in states such as Nevada and New Jersey, where both online and retail sports betting were legal for last year’s game, are also in jeopardy.”
The Super Bowl is easily the most bet-on sporting event in the US, drawing an estimated $6bn in legal and illegal bets in 2019, according to figures from the American Gaming Association. That number will reach almost $7bn in 2020, it estimates.
The availability of legal sports wagering in 13 states will clearly push betting figures higher, especially given that eight of those states – Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Iowa, Rhode Island, West Virginia, Oregon – offer both online and retail sports betting.
Also to consider is that just seven states, representing a combined population of 30 million, accepted legal bets for last year’s game between the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams. In addition, some states had yet to launch online sportsbooks, leaving retail sportsbooks as the only vehicle to place a bet in states such as Pennsylvania.
In terms of where most money is staked, the country’s two largest sports betting markets, Nevada and New Jersey, combined to generate more than $180m in bets for the 2019 game.
New Jersey sportsbooks, which offered legal wagering on the Super Bowl for the first time in 2019, attracted $34.9m in bets but lost $4.6m. Nevada’s $145.9m handle was the state’s second-best all-time, but down from the record $158.6m in 2018.
“Not only has the number of legal sports jurisdictions doubled from last year’s game, states such as New Jersey and Pennsylvania have boomed,” Gouker said. “That all adds up to a historic weekend ahead for sports betting.”
He added: “Online and mobile sportsbooks are a key tool in driving in-game and prop betting, giving states with a robust digital presence a significant advantage. In New Jersey, nearly 88% of all bets were made online in December. And that allows operators to attract bettors with prop bets and keep them engaged with in-game betting.”