By KEVIN BESSLER
THE CENTER SQUARE
(The Center Square) – Gambling observers say this Sunday’s Super Bowl will likely shatter sports betting records in the U.S.
The game is the most-wagered-on single sporting event in the country. PlayUSA.com projects the game could generate $1 billion in wagers, which would double the total from last year.
Analyst Joe Boozell said last year, Illinois sports bettors wagered around $45 million on the Super Bowl.
“Which is a big number in itself, but based on the growth we’ve seen in the fall of 2021 compared to 2020, our team has put together a projection of about $75 million bet on this year’s game,” Mr. Boozell said.
Another reason for the big number projections nationally is that more states are now offering online sports betting, including New York, which is already on pace to obliterate the U.S. record for monthly handle.
Illinois sportsbooks finished the year strong as December’s nearly $40 million in revenue on nearly $800 million in wagering fell short of setting new records. The number positioned Illinois as the nation’s third-largest market for sports betting.
The $789.6 million taken in online and retail wagers in December was up over 60% from December 2020 numbers and the second most in state history.
Gross gaming revenue fell to a more typical $36.7 million in December, down around 53% from the record $78.2 in November. The end result in December was $33.7 million in taxable revenue, which yielded $5.4 million in state and local taxes.
“Sportsbooks have operated at a blistering pace over the last three months, and it certainly helps going forward that the Bulls are a hot ticket,” said Mr. Boozell. “I cover Illinois mostly, and even here, we don’t even have online registration, but the year over year increases are crazy.”
Sunday’s Super Bowl pits the Los Angeles Rams against the Cincinnati Bangles.