More than 23 million Americans plan to bet a total of $4.3 billion on Super Bowl LV, a 37 percent drop in expected handle compared with the figure from last year’s game.
A new report from the American Gaming Association said the drop was expected and almost entirely caused by pandemic-led restrictions at casinos across the country. The largest declines are expected among retail sportsbooks and casual bets made in social settings, like pools or squares. The total count also includes illegal bets online and with bookies.
Despite the dramatic drop, the AGA predicts this year’s game will generate the largest single-event legal handle in American sports betting history.
“With a robust legal market, Americans are abandoning illegal bookies and taking their action into the regulated marketplace in record numbers,” AGA President and CEO Bill Miller said in a Tuesday news release.
There are seven new betting markets this year compared with last year, allowing 36 million more American adults the opportunity to bet legally in their home state.
Twenty-five states and Washington, DC have legalized sports betting, and 21 of those markets are operational. Another 13 states have active or pre-filed legislation to legalize sports betting.
Of the operational markets, all but four offer online sports betting in some form.
Online betting is expected to have its best year yet at Super Bowl LV. A record 7.6 million bettors are expected to place their wagers online for this year’s game, a 63 percent jump compared with last year.
Mobile betting has accounted for about 82 percent of legal sports wagers nationwide throughout the pandemic, according to the AGA, a trade group representing the $261 billion U.S. casino industry.
Overall, 1.4 million Americans plan to bet in-person at a sportsbook this year, a 61 percent year-over-year drop. Fewer plan to bet casually with friends or place a pool, squares or similar bet, with each down 18 percent and 19 percent from 2020, respectively.
The findings are based on an online survey among more than 2,000 adults conducted by Morning Consult late last month.
The matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers is set to begin Sunday at 3:30 p.m.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
Contact Bailey Schulz at [email protected]. Follow @bailey_schulz on Twitter.