Nearly 68 million American adults — about one in four — plan to bet on this year’s Super Bowl, setting a record by a wide margin, according to the gambling industry’s national trade association.
Figures released by the American Gaming Association on Tuesday include bets placed with legal outlets, as well as with illegal bookies and online operations in other countries.
The volume of betting participation is projected to be 35% higher than last year, which was the previous record.
Of that, about 1.5 billion dollars (£1.1 billion) is projected to be bet with legal outlets, the group said, citing consensus estimates from various sources. That is in the same ballpark as the 1.25 billion dollars (£993.7 million) in legal bets projected by California-based research firm Eilers & Krejcik Gaming.
Sports betting is legal in 38 states plus Washington DC.
“There’s a good chance that every Super Bowl for the next 10 or so years will be the most bet Super Bowl thanks to the underlying growth of regulated sports betting in the US,” said gambling analyst Chris Grove, a partner at Eilers & Krejcik Gaming.
Sunday’s game will feature the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs against the San Francisco 49ers in a rare rematch from four years ago.
The 49ers are favoured by 2.5 points, meaning they would have to win the game by three or more points for bets on them to be winners. If the Chiefs win, or lose by no more than two points, bets on Kansas City would win. Those odds are from FanDuel Sportsbook, the official odds provider for the Associated Press.
“I think the Taylor Swift effect will be more obviously felt in terms of the total number of people watching and betting on the game than it will be in the total dollars bet on the game,” Mr Grove said. “But there’s little doubt that sportsbooks will be seeing Swifties sign up that otherwise would not have given sports betting a second thought.”
Cait DeBaun, a vice president with the American Gaming Association, said Swift could be one of several reasons for increased betting on this year’s Super Bowl, along with “the compelling matchup”, the game being held in Las Vegas, the nation’s betting capital, and the growing availability of legal sports betting in the US.
About 36.5 million adults plan to bet casually with friends, or as part of a pool or squares contest, up 32% from last year.
Gamblers are nearly split on the outcome of the game, with 47% planning to bet on the Kansas City Chiefs and 44% on the San Francisco 49ers, according to the association’s survey which was carried out from January 30 to February 1 from a national sample of 2,204 adults. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus two percentage points.
Eilers & Krejcik forecasts that nearly 13% of money bet with legal sportsbooks will come from Nevada, where the game will be played. This is followed by New York (12.4%), New Jersey (9.6%), Pennsylvania (7.4%), Illinois (7.3%), Ohio (7%) and Arizona (5.6%). Other states are projected to account for 3.6% or less individually.
About 10% to 15% of legal bets will be made live after the game already has begun, the company predicted.