Nevada sportsbooks won nearly $12.6 million on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 31-9 upset of the Kansas City Chiefs in Sunday’s Super Bowl LV from an overall handle of nearly $136.1 million, according to figures released Tuesday by the state’s Gaming Control Board.
The win and handle were down from last year’s $18.7 million win (from a handle of $154.7 million), and the handle was the lowest it has been since 2016. However, it’s assumed Nevada would have surpassed the 2018 handle record of $158.6 million if not for the COVID-19 pandemic that closed casinos from mid-March to early June, cutting into future-book wagering that’s also included in Nevada’s figures, and limiting visitors on Super Sunday. Still, Nevada’s figures topped New Jersey, which won $11.3 million from a handle of $117.4 million. New Jersey held 9.6% of its bets, while Nevada held 9.2%.
Nick Bogdanovich, director of trading for William Hill US, summed up the books’ win pretty well on VSiN’s “Follow the Money” show on Tuesday morning: “We won the point spread. We won the total. We lost the money line. We lost futures and we won props. First half was really good, we had a monster decision on that. Second half was really good, we had a big decision on that.”
Bogdanovich also said that in-game wagering was “quiet” and William Hill won a little. “They were betting the Chiefs to come from behind,” he said, though adding that bettors were also betting the Under in-game to cut into the sportsbooks' winnings.
Michael Lawton, GBC senior analyst, cited the lower amount of visitors and in-person for the lower handle compared to recent years.
“The capacity restrictions in place to stop the spread of COVID-19 presented a very challenging operating environment for Nevada’s sportsbooks,” Lawton stated in an email to VSiN. “In Nevada, Super Bowl handle is driven by visitation and Las Vegas along with other areas across the state are destination markets for customers to come and wager on the game.
“Overall, considering the factors that Nevada sportsbooks were facing, these figures represent the fifth-highest total all-time for Super Bowl betting volumes since Nevada began recording these figures in 1991. That being said, the Board is very pleased with these results.”
The handle (and probably the win) were also lessened in several states with multiple mobile betting apps reporting outages before and during the game. BetMGM was down in Nevada while other books (FanDuel, DraftKings, BetRivers and Barstool Sportsbook) reported outages as well.
Still, despite the medical and technological obstacles, nationwide legal sports betting on the Super Bowl has already topped $418 million to blow away last year’s $262.5 million with several states still not having reported their figures. After Nevada’s $136.1 million and New Jersey’s $117.4 million handle, Pennsylvania ranks third at $53.6 million, followed by Illinois ($45.6 million), Colorado ($30 million), Iowa ($16.3 million), Mississippi ($8 million), Rhode Island ($6.5 million), Oregon ($3.5 million) and Delaware ($1.9 million),