Super Bowl Betting Soars in Seven States Where It Is Legal

Before the 2019 Super Bowl, there was no such thing as bets placed legally on the game—unless the gambler lived or visited Nevada. However, the landscape has changed dramatically since the 2018 Super Bowl. That change has made it much easier—and much more lucrative– to bet on the sport.

The Supreme Court Ruling

gambling lawsIn May of 2018, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of New Jersey, and overturned the 1992 law called the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, which banned all sports gambling, except in Nevada. New Jersey argued that they had the right to allow single sports gambling in their state. They cited the Constitution, which says that the federal government has the right to control commerce in between states. The federal government also has the power to control commerce between companies. However, if commerce is taking place in the state itself, the state regulates its own commerce. The Supreme Court agreed, and ruled that states had the power to decide for themselves whether to allow sports betting or not.

The Rush to Legalization

So far, nine states have passed laws legalizing sports wagers. Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Mississippi, and New Mexico have sportsbooks operating. Arkansas has passed a law legalizing sportsbooks, but they are not running yet. Several other states, such as New York, Illinois, Michigan, and Louisiana are expected to take up legislation this year regarding sports gambling. All of those states currently have casinos, which would make it easy to set up sports betting kiosks.

The Money Rolls In

It has been a heady time to be in the sportsbook business. While many of the states that legalized sports gambling enjoyed the college football season, there is really nothing quite like the amount of betting that goes on for the Super Bowl. During college football season, as well as the NFL season, the money splits in between two or three competing sports. However, on Super Bowl Sunday, there is no other game in town.

Nevada is used to all the excitement, since sports gambling has been going on there for decades. However, the other states, which recently legalized casino gambling, were ready for all kinds of new customers.

Rhode Island, for example, because it is currently the only state in New England with legalized sports betting, saw an influx of customers. It is the closest state to the football-loving Patriots as well, and they flocked to the small state to be able to place a bet on their favorite team.

In fact, many fans that previously traveled to Las Vegas to bet stayed in their home states instead. Proposition (or prop) bets were very popular as well. Prop bets cover all kinds of betting that has nothing to do with the Super Bowl. For example, many people were betting on the outcome of the coin toss, or the quality of the halftime show.

In addition, Vegas, with the promise of an NFL franchise in the city in a year, also had an influx of fans in from LA for the game, since the Rams were playing for the title. Many groups of fans made the trip to Vegas for Super Bowl weekend to gamble and spend time with friends watching the game.

The Super Bowl, along with the NCAA Basketball tournament called March Madness, are the most wagered sporting events in the United States. Expert’s estimated over 23 million adults bet on the outcome of the big game. Fans spent approximately $6 billion on their wagers for the Super Bowl. Of that $6 billion figure, experts estimate that $2.8 billion is still being spent with offshore bookmakers or through the old-fashioned bookie method. This figure represents money that is not being counted as revenue for states.

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Jean Carter is from Oakland, California and studied jewelry design at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in San Francisco, California. After graduation, and pining for a warmer climate, Jean relocated to the Tule Springs suburb of Las Vegas, where she owns and operates her own online jewelry boutique incorporating traditional native American styles with her own unique designs. A true fan of the sophistication and glamor of Las Vegas casino life, Jean is also a freelance blogger specializing in all things suave and fashionable surrounding the casino lifestyle.