Atlantic City, N.J. — Nearly 68 million American adults — about 1 in 4 — plan to bet on this year’ssetting a record by a wide margin, according to the gambling industry’s national trade association.
Figures released Tuesday by the American Gaming Association include bets placed with legal outlets, as well as with illegal bookies and online operations in other countries.
The volume ofis projected to be 35% higher than last year, when the previous record was set.
Bettors plan to wager an estimated $23.1 billion on this year’s Super Bowl, up from $16 billion last year, the group predicted.
Of that, about $1.5 billion is projected to be bet with legal outlets, the group said, citing consensus estimates from various sources. That’s in the same ballpark as the $1.25 billion in legal bets projected by Irvine, California-based research firm Eilers & Krejcik Gaming.
Sports betting is legal in 38 states plus Washington, D.C.
“There’s a good chance that every Super Bowl for the next ten or so years will be the most bet Super Bowl thanks to thein the U.S.,” said gambling analyst Chris Grove, a partner at Eilers & Krejcik Gaming.
The current odds
Tomorrow’s game will feature the defendingchampion Kansas City Chiefs against the San Francisco 49ers in a rare rematch from four years ago.
The 49ers are favored by 2.5 points, meaning they would have to win the game by 3 or more points for bets on them to be winners. Conversely, if the Chiefs win, or if they lose by no more than 2 points, bets on Kansas City would win. Those odds are from FanDuel Sportsbook, the official odds provider for The Associated Press.
The Gaming Association says bettors “are nearly split on the outcome of the game,” with 47% planning to bet on the Chiefs and 44% planning to wager on the 49ers, according to the association’s survey conducted Jan. 30 through Feb. 1 of a national sample of 2,204 adults. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.
Stephen Shapiro, a professor of Sports and Entertainment Management at USC, says sports bettors are motivated by a perception that they know more about football than other people who are.
“They think they have a lot of knowledge, so they feel more comfortable betting on the game than they would betting in a casino where they don’t think there’s any skill involved,” Shapiro said. “Even though they’re losing, people have this perception that they can win.”
Taylor Swift-Travis Kelce role
Themight be helping drive interest in this Super Bowl. About 73% of adults say they plan to watch the game this year, about 10% higher than in recent previous years.
“I think the ‘Taylor Swift effect’ will be more obviously felt in terms of the total number of people watching and betting on the game than it will be in the total dollars bet on the game,” Grove said. “But there’s little doubt that sportsbooks will be seeing Swifties sign up that otherwise would not have given sports betting a second thought.”
Likewise, Cait DeBaun, a Gaming Association vice president, said Swift could be one of several reasons for increased betting on this year’s Super Bowl, along with “the compelling matchup,” the game being held in Las Vegas, the nation’s betting capital, and the growing availability of legal sports betting in the U.S.
Historically, there has been a spike in risk for sports betting problems around Super Bowl time, according to Keith Whyte, executive eirector of National Council on Problem Gambling.
“Many of our state chapters report increases in calls for help from family members during the Super Bowl and immediately after,” Whyte said.
Studies from the National Council on Problem Gambling indicate that sports betting is 5 times more likely to lead to problematic play than other types of gambling.
“We know that traditionally the Super Bowl has been a time where sports bettors who’ve had a losing season may chase their losses, going double or nothing to try and win back all that money or at least to get even,” Whyte said.
There’s no federal data tracking problematic gambling, and state-by-state data collection is spotty or non-existent, so researchers acknowledge it’s difficult to know how many people bet more than they’re able to lose. But surveys have noted a rise in risky gambling behaviors in the three years following 2018, when a Supreme Court decision opened the floodgates to legal gambling. That research shows young, educated men are most likely to be affected.
Where the action is likely to be
The largest group in the survey — 42.7 million adults — plans to place a wager online (legally or illegally), at a retail sportsbook or with an illegal bookie, an increase of 41% from last year.
About 36.5 million adults plan to bet casually with friends, or as part of a pool or squares contest, up 32% from last year.
Eilers & Krejcik forecasts that nearly 13% of money bet with legal sportsbooks will come from Nevada, where the game will be played. That’s is followed by New York (12.4%), New Jersey (9.6%); Pennsylvania (7.4%), Illinois (7.3%); Ohio (7%) and Arizona (5.6%). Other states are projected to account for 3.6% or less individually.
About 10% to 15% of legal bets will be made live, the company predicted.
Brian Becker, senior vice president of Tipico Sportsbook, is among many gambling industry executives who predict a record-breaking betting level on this year’s Super Bowl.
“The game-watching experience has become more immersive than ever before,” he said. “As we approach Super Bowl Sunday, we also expect the festivities in Las Vegas to have a ripple effect across the country and entice more fans to place bets than in years past with the microscope of media and advertising on Vegas culture.”
-Laura Doan contributed reporting.