Super Bowl handle decreases in Nevada
Nevada sportsbooks won nearly $11.3 million from Super Bowl LVII bettors on Sunday’s 38-35 win by the Chiefs over the Eagles, but it wasn’t all good news for the bet-takers as overall handle was down from last year and the books didn’t win as much as they normally do on the biggest gambling day of the year.
Last year, Nevada led the nation with a record $179.8 million wagered on the Super Bowl, but Sunday’s game only handled $153.2 million, down $26.6 million or 14.8%, while the hold percentage of 7.4% was also the lowest since 2019. The figures were released by the state’s Gaming Control Board on Monday afternoon, a day after the game.
There appear to be several factors that played into the reduced handle. Some observers believe it’s a result of increased competition with more states offering legalized sports betting (Ohio, Kansas and Maryland came on board since last year’s Super Bowl) and more bettors choosing their to stay home instead of traveling to Nevada, though that didn’t seem to have a negative impact when the record was set last year. Another contributing factor could be that the game was held in neighboring Arizona, which was the first state with legalized sports betting to host a Super Bowl (Nevada should see a boost next year when the game will be held at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas).
Sports betting on increase nationally
We’ll get a better overall picture when more states released their Super Bowl figures, but sports betting certainly isn’t slowing down as a company named GeoComply reported that Sunday’s game had record activity with more than 7.4 million unique accounts in the U.S., an increase of 32% since last year’s game, and more than 100 million pings over the weekend on sports betting apps, an increase of 25%. Not surprisingly, New York had the most geolocation checks at 13.9 million with Ohio at 12.5 million in its first Super Bowl, followed by Pennsylvania (11.8 million), New Jersey (9.1 million) and Michigan (7.5 million).
In the two weeks between the conference championship games and the Super Bowl, several Las Vegas sportsbooks operators told VSiN that wagering on the point spread and money line were tracking behind recent years with the game so close to pick-’em without the added incentive of a high price on the underdog Chiefs to win outright. The books reported that proposition wagering continued to increase in popularity (with many books reporting they now handle more on the Super Bowl in props than on so-called straight bets), but those bettors tend to bet smaller amounts on many props.
Another contributing factor was the fact the William Hill and Caesars apps crashed before the game and also wasn’t available for in-game wagering. Users saw the message – “William Hill Unable to Start; We are currently experiencing technical difficulties, we apologize for the inconvenience.” In fact, the app still wasn’t working late Monday night.
Despite the bad news, Nevada’s handle was still the fourth-highest since the GCB started keeping separate track of Super Bowl handle in 1991. The $11.3 million win was also down from last year’s haul of $15.4 million and the lowest since 2019 when the books won “only” $10.8 million and the same 7.4% hold percentage, but both were still much better than the 2018 game when the Eagles upset the Patriots 41-33 on a then-record handle of $158.6 million but the books own just $1.17 million for an ultra-low hold of 0.7%.
There’s the silver lining in the Silver State.