Super Bowl betting heads for another record year

50 million Americans are expected to wager $16B

Super Bowl betting is heading for another record. Americans are expected to more than double their bets compared to last year, according to a survey by the American Gaming Association (AGA).

Over 50 million fans will bet an estimated $16 billion on Sunday’s game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs. That’s up 110% from $7.61 billion wagered last year on Super Bowl LVI and follows a 78% increase from 2021.

Rob DiGisi, who teaches Sports Management at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, said he is not surprised.

"The handle in December nationwide was over $8 billion, so for the biggest sporting event of the year to be double that, I’m not surprised at all."

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More people are betting

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Jan 29, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Skyy Moore (24) runs the ball as Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Germaine Pratt (57) defends during the AFC Championship game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium.  (Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports / Reuters Photos)

The AGA estimates a record 50.4 million American adults are expected to place wagers on Super Bowl LVII, a 61% increase from the record 31.4 million who bet in 2022. Last year’s total was up 35% from 2021.

Online sports books are capitalizing on the interest by offering more exotic and prop bets to drive up the numbers. Such bets can include wagers on the time of the national anthem, the winner of the coin flip, or the color of the Gatorade.

"Sports books — [Flutter Entaintainment's] FanDuel and DraftKings — are offering them in a way that they don’t offer for regular season games or even the playoffs," DiGisi told FOX Business. "It’s because it’s the Super Bowl. People are looking for various ways to get engaged."

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Ticker Security Last Change Change %
PDYPY n.a. n.a. n.a. n.a.
DKNG DRAFTKINGS INC. 36.56 -1.22 -3.22%

Explosive growth

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The increase in handle and players comes with only four states adding legalized betting since the AGA's last estimate: Kansas, Ohio, Maryland (Mobile) and Massachusetts.

AGA Senior Vice President Casey Clark says sports betting has come a long way in a short time. "This has really taken off faster than anybody expected," he told FOX Business. "Four and a half years ago it was only legal in Nevada and now we’re at 36 states plus D.C. where Americans can bet legally at home."

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How the NFL benefits

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Jan 29, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles running back Boston Scott (35) carries the ball against San Francisco 49ers linebacker Dre Greenlaw (57) during the second quarter in the NFC Championship game at Lincoln Financial Fi (Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports / Reuters Photos)

The NFL has been a big beneficiary of sports betting. More than a third (34%) of NFL fans say that the expansion of legal sports betting has made watching an NFL game more exciting, AGA said.

"The biggest thing for the NFL is increased engagement. When people have something on the line rather than just their rooting interest it’s going to make people watch more games and watch longer," DiGisi told FOX Business.

Do teams matter?

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Feb 6, 2023; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs fans take the stage during Super Bowl Opening Night at Footprint Center.  (Cheryl Evans-USA TODAY Sports)

Bettors are evenly split on the outcome of the game with 44% each planning to bet on the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs.

Neither DiGisi nor Clark believe the actual teams on the field have much influence on how much money is bet.

"If it were Cincinnati versus San Francisco, it would be the same number," DiGisi said, who is also founder and president of Iron Horse Marketing.

The Chiefs are a 1.5-point favorite according to DraftKings Sportbook.

The AGA reminds players to play responsibly by having a budget and setting limits while treating betting as adult entertainment. 

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