Every year, the Super Bowl proves to be one of the most lucrative events not only in sports but in the entire world. Millions of dollars are spent on commercials, concert-like halftime shows, events, and other advertising to put on the biggest spectacle in American sports. On top of all this, however, is another lucrative business that does very well every year when the big game comes around — gambling.
How much was bet during the Super Bowl?
Between friendly wagers between co-workers and official bets that are ran through Nevada, New Jersey, or one of the other states that allow sportsbooks, one would be hard-pressed not to know somebody who bets money on the events. The Super Bowl offers a unique combination of single-game intrigue, bountiful opportunity, and big-time spectacle to attract bets big and small.
High-rollers will put down five, six, or seven-figure bets leading into the game. From parlays involving the play on the field to some of the more interesting betting opportunities, people can make money on nearly any aspect of the Super Bowl. According to the 10 states that released the betting numbers from the 2020 Super Bowl, Americans bet nearly $270 million on this year’s game.
Which state had the most bets on the Super Bowl?
It should come as no surprise that Nevada accounted for over half of the year’s Super Bowl’s bets. Thanks to Las Vegas, as well as smaller cities such as Reno, the state took in $154.7 million in bets. This was a six-percent increase from the previous year. Gamblers from all over will come to Vegas to lay down bets, but Nevada isn’t the only state that allows sportsbooks.
New Jersey came in second with $54 million wagered. Outside of Vegas, Atlantic City might be the biggest gambling haven in the United States, with most of these wagers going through them. Pennsylvania might not be as well-known in this regard, but it took in $31 million in wagers, itself. Other states are getting on board, but none have sportsbooks like these three.
Still, while a quarter of a billion dollars is a lot of money for any industry to take in, illegal and unsanctioned gambling makes these numbers skyrocket.
How much money is really wagered while gambling?
Technically, any gambling that is not done through an official sportsbook or sanctioned provider is technically illegal. As such, millions of people break the law every year. Despite this, illegal betting brings the overall number up a lot. According to BetFirm.com, an estimated $5.2 billion is wagered across the world illegally on Super Bowl Sunday.
While these bets are rarely punished by law, the exceptions typically being illegal gambling operations of a larger scale, these numbers show just how invested people are in making money off of the Super Bowl.
With so much made in gambling, many might be wondering if gambling and sports can co-exist. In the coming years, we might get a definitive answer.
Can sports and gambling coexist?
Las Vegas isn’t the only place where people go to gamble, but it is indicative of many gambling trends. For years, sports leagues avoided Las Vegas as a potential home for teams because of fears of gambling’s influence. Lately, that platform has shifted. Gambling can be done on a phone, and those who want to wager will find a way to do so.
Now, with a WNBA team, an NHL team, and an incoming NFL team, Las Vegas is embarking on an experiment that allows sports to be enjoyed in the gambling capital of the United States. Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban not only believes that sporting leagues and gambling should co-exist, he thinks that it is lucrative for everyone involved.
Thanks to Pete Rose and other scandals, gambling and sports might never fully connect in an official capacity, but in recent years, thanks to fantasy drafting and more Vegas teams, sports and gambling have gained a more official partnership that could grow in years to come. If it does, Americans may spend even more money on their whims.