- Erik Kabik Photography/MediaPunch/IPX
- The American Gaming Association estimates that approximately $4.76 billion will be bet on the Super Bowl this year.
- Of all that money, just 3% of it is expected to be wagered legally in Nevada, with the rest of the bets being made through offshore books and local bookies.
- Still, Las Vegas bookmakers are doing just fine – 2017 was their most profitable year on record and the Super Bowl is looking like it will easily pass last year’s record.
Super Bowl Sunday is the biggest gambling day of the year, and this season’s matchup between the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles is expected to blow previous years out of the water in terms of how much will be bet on the big game.
According to estimates released by the American Gaming Association, an expected $4.76 billion will be bet on Super Bowl LII. But unfortunately for Las Vegas bookmakers looking to profit off the game, just an estimated 3% of that money will be bet in Nevada – the rest will likely be wagered through offshore books and local bookies.
The estimates come as the Supreme Court weighs a decision that could open the door to legalize sports betting outside of Nevada, with a decision coming possibly as soon as March and expected no later than the end of June, according to ESPN’s David Purdum. With that much money being gambled outside the purview of states, it’s no wonder why local governments would want to get in on the action.
Despite so much gambling happening outside of sportsbooks, Las Vegas is still expected to have its biggest Super Bowl yet.
“I think we’re going to easily surpass last year’s record,” Jay Kornegay, vice president of race and sports at the Westgate SuperBook, told Purdum. “The economy is strong, and the popularity of these two teams will match any other matchup.”
The popularity of sports betting has trended upwards for years, and 2017 was the biggest year yet for Las Vegas bookmakers.
Nevada sports books won $248.7 million, an all-time record, in 2017. $4.86 billion was wagered in 2017, also an all-time high, according to Nevada Gaming Control.
— David Payne Purdum (@DavidPurdum) January 31, 2018
As for the Super Bowl, big bets have already come in on both sides of the game, with the majority of the action currently on the underdog Eagles. Betting is only expected to increase as it gets closer to Sunday.
With Las Vegas offering hundreds of prop bets on essentially every possible outcome of the Super Bowl, and even more strange bets available online through offshore books, bettors have no shortage of places to put their money before kickoff on Sunday.