There is no hiding the fact that the Super Bowl is the largest single American sporting event every single year. Even with a pandemic ravishing the country, the NFL found a way to get a full season in and, all things considered, a pretty normal season at that. The Super Bowl featured two teams that do not have the largest markets, and it still raked in record-breaking money.
How Much Was Wagered?
So far, reports have come out that over $400 million was wagered on, legally, in the United States. This $400 million wagered is a larger sports betting handle than legal sports betting states usually see over the course of an entire month. In other words, this single event was larger than an entire month’s worth of wagers in Illinois, for example.
While Tampa Bay and Kansas City may not be the largest markets, one thing that did help the wagers flow in was the fact that the Super Bowl featured two of the greatest talents at quarterback of all time. The game did not live up to expectations, but bettors had already placed a majority of their money before that was known.
What Contributed to So Much Wagered?
While many may argue that the Super Bowl was just a massive game this year, it is clear that the reason more was wagered legally this year than last is simply accessibility. More states legalized and launched sports betting. Tennessee, Michigan, Virginia, West Virginia, and more opened the doors to sports betting. Many other states, like Iowa, also expanded online sports betting to make it easier to wager.
We saw record-breaking amounts of sports handles in just about every single state in 2020. This increased access and increased participation are why you saw these massive Super Bowl numbers. As sports betting continues to expand and become bigger, the Super Bowl will continue to break wagering numbers, regardless of the teams.
Super Bowl Could Have Taken More Wagers
The Super Bowl total betting handle could have likely been a lot larger. Unfortunately, there were massive outages throughout the online betting apps. Major operators like BetMGM, FanDuel, DraftKings, and more all saw some sort of an outage at some point on Super Bowl Sunday.
Obviously, with the sportsbooks down, there were probably millions of wagers left on the table that could not be placed. One could only wonder if this will prepare the major operators for the Super Bowl that takes place in 2022 for the 2021 NFL Season.
States to Legalize Before Next Super Bowl
There are several states that have legalized that have yet to launch. Maryland, Louisiana, and South Dakota all legalized during the 2020 November Elections. These states need to now get licenses and regulations put together to then launch the betting.
Georgia, Ohio, Massachusetts, and Arizona all have very promising bills in the works that would make sports betting legal in those respective states. It is very possible that all of them could see legal sports betting by the time the next Super Bowl rolls around.
Probably the biggest bit of news is the fact that New York is pushing for mobile sports wagering, an expansion that would quickly turn the Empire State into the largest sports betting destination in the United States.