Nevada books shatter state's Super Bowl handle record with $179.8 million

By Dave Tuley  ( senior reporter) 


Nevada sportsbooks broke their all-time Super Bowl handle record by taking $179.8 million in bets on the Los Angeles Rams’ 23-20 come-from-behind victory over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, according to figures released by the state’s Gaming Control Board on Monday./p>

That shattered the previous record of $154.6 million wagered four years ago on the Philadelphia Eagles’ 41-33 upset of the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII.

“The catalysts for this year's record was that yesterday's game had two very distinct betting options for customers due to the spread being at -4.5 and the money-line wagers, which attracted healthy action on both sides,” Michael Lawton, GCB senior economic analyst, wrote in an email. “Furthermore, this year there was a normal Super Bowl party environment with COVID-19 restrictions including mask requirements being lifted.  Sportsbooks across the state were able to capitalize on this in addition to the continued acceptance of mobile sports wagering by customers which allow the books to offer a wider variety of betting options with proposition bets and increased ‘In-Play’ wagering.

“This year's total continued the trends we have been witnessing in sports wagering during calendar year 2021, where the State saw three consecutive months of over $1.0 billion in wagers and an all-time annual record was established with $8.1 billion in total sports book write.”

The sportsbooks won $15.4 million from bettors (hold of 8.6 percent), which ranks fourth all-time behind the record $19.7 million win in the Seattle Seahawks’ 43-8 rout of the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVII in 2014, $18.8 million win two years ago in the Kansas City Chiefs’ 31-20 win over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV in 2020 or the Patriots 24-21 win over the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX in 2005.

“The majority of customers who took the Rams laid the 4.5 points and the majority of patrons who took the Bengals bet them to win outright,” Lawton wrote. “Adding to these outcomes was the fact that the popular choice was the game going Over 48.5 points.  The end result, in addition to the in-play wagers and proposition bets, allowed Nevada Sports Book Operators to record the 4th highest win total all-time since records have been kept going back to 1991.”

In past years, Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale probably would have placed his $9.5 million in money line bets on the Bengals in Nevada. He made those bets to hedge against a promotion in which his furniture store customers would get a refund of a $3,000 or more purchase if the Bengals won the Super Bowl. This year, Mattress Mack made his wagers in Louisiana, closer to his home base in Houston. That should be reflected in Louisiana’s handle and win (instead of boosting Nevada to a record win) when that state releases its Super Bowl figures.

Note: if you see anyone saying the win ranks No. 3 all-time in Nevada, that’s probably because they weren’t covering sports betting back in 2005 and are just going by the chart sent out by the GCB that only includes the last 10 years.


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