Super Bowl LVIII Betting Broke Nevada Records

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Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas was a huge sporting success, and now it looks likely to have broken all kinds of betting records as well.

The big game and its big storylines attracted 123.4 million viewers on Sunday. That makes it the second-most viewed TV event in American history, only (closely) trailing the 1969 Moon landing.

In terms of sports betting action, the national data isn’t in yet. But even from what we have, it looks likely that the first Super Bowl to be held in the U.S. gambling capital will smash the football betting records across the board.

It has already been confirmed by the Nevada Gaming Control Board that the total handle for online and retail sports betting in Nevada for the game beat the 2022 record.

The ‘books took $185.6 million in wagers on the game, narrowly topping the $179 million wagered on Super Bowl LVI.

The elements: a West Coast team fairly close to Las Vegas versus the defending champions. Much hype from a certain megastar pop singer and her Chiefs partner. One quarterback looking to get into the GOAT discussions, and another in his second NFL season after being picked last in the draft. The first Super Bowl in Las Vegas.

It all added up to a storm of excitement around the game, so it’s unsurprising that it was one for the books.

Handle Up, Hold Way Down

Then we have the football itself. The Kansas City Chiefs had to take it to overtime against the San Francisco 49ers in their 25-22 win, cementing themselves as the first back-to-back Super Bowl champs since the New England Patriots in 2005.

As underdogs with the ‘books, but a popular pick for casual bettors, the Chiefs’ overtime victory did not make for a good hold for Nevada sports betting operators.

182 sportsbooks in the state held on to $6.8 million of that $185 million total handle, or 3.7%.

“It was a bad Super Bowl for the sportsbook,” BetMGM senior trader Tristan Davis said in a statement on Monday.

“Many bettors had the Chiefs winning and overs on popular player props.”

The game going into overtime for only the second time in 58 Super Bowls also saw bettors rinse sportsbooks. Some operators were offering as much as 9:1 odds on that outcome, as it was considered unlikely. But it remained a popular bet.

Some ‘books said that the fact that the game stayed narrowly under the point spread was a saving grace on what might have been a losing day otherwise.

“Overall, the day was a small winner. The biggest part was that the game still stayed under, only by a half point. But that was really the key to putting a small winner on the board,” said Red Rock Resort’s Chuck Esposito, the parent of Stations Casino.

“It was a record Super Bowl handle for us here at Stations.”

Big Bets Put Down

Nevada’s sportsbooks also reported on some of their interesting or large wagers over the weekend.

On Monday, we reported on Drake’s $1 million bet on the Chiefs’ outright victory, one that he placed at an offshore sportsbook despite being pictured in Las Vegas during the game.

Other less-famous big bettors included a $1.1 million wager from poker player Sean Perry on the 49ers, and two million-dollar losing bets at MGM and Caesars.

On the flipside, two players (one at Circa Sports, one at a BetMGM book) won $1.1 million bets on the Chiefs.

The Circa bettor put down $1 million on the 49ers to lead at halftime, which he cashed out when they went in 10-3 up.

Caesars also reported it received a $5 parlay bet in 2023 that has now cashed out at $12,745. One Nostradamus of a sports bettor put a futures parlay on the Lakers to win the NBA’s In-Season Tournament and the Texas Rangers to win the MLB’s World Series, as well as the exact combo of the Chiefs beating the 49ers to win the Super Bowl.

Outside of Nevada, it will be a while before all the numbers are in, and some may not see the light of day at all. However, FanDuel reported it took $307 million in bets on the big game nationally, from which it won $14 million. Both numbers were football betting records for the operator.

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