The largest and most significant segment of the sports betting calendar has concluded.
The Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl.
If you’re into Oscar betting, bettors and fans enjoyed or shook their heads at the mildly surprising double-win of Parasite and Bong Joon Ho for Best Picture and Best Director, respectively.
Now, we start our eleventh-hour cramming of the college basketball season as March Madness approaches.
Before we forget about Super Bowl LIV, however, we should recognize some states’ single-day reports of legalized wagering on Feb. 2, 2020.
On to the Rewind:
Super Bowl betting nears $270 million nationwide
Not long after the Chiefs polished off their championship comeback win over the San Francisco 49ers, states with legalized sports betting began publicizing how operators fared for the Big Game.
With 10 states reporting Super Bowl betting numbers, the public laid down almost $270 million on the championship matchup. With the favorited Chiefs coming out on top 31-20, some states finished with a negative hold.
Of the $268.6 million wagered, Nevada accounted for $154.7 million in handle, reflecting a 6% increase from the previous year’s Super Bowl. The Silver State reported a 12.1% hold, totaling $18.8 million in revenue.
As expected, the likes of New Jersey and Pennsylvania finished second and third, respectively. More than $54 million was wagered in New Jersey, while Pennsylvania took in nearly $31 million. The Garden State lost $4.3 million in revenue due to the outcome, and PA sports betting reported a $3.3 million loss.
While still impressive for a single day, that nearly $270 million in handle represents only a small fraction of what the American Gaming Association projected. Prior to the Super Bowl, the AGA estimated that a whopping $6.8 billion would be legally and illegally wagered on the Big Game.
Maine sports betting still alive
Despite a thumbs-down from Gov. Janet Mills, legislation to legalize sports betting in Maine remains alive.
The state Senate voted to override the governor’s veto, which required a two-thirds vote. All that remains is a similar outcome in the House, and Rep. Scott Strom informed Legal Sports Report that the chamber should follow suit.
In a letter explaining her veto, Mills noted she was “unconvinced at this time that the majority of Maine people are ready to legalize, support, endorse and promote betting on competitive athletic events.”
Interestingly, Maine’s two commercial casinos, Hollywood Casino Banger and Oxford Casino, lobbied for the governor’s veto to stand.
Their reasoning surrounded the bill’s lack of a requirement for online sportsbooks to partner with land-based properties. Instead, the state’s legislation allows for sportsbooks to operate without physical locations.
Should an override occur, it would mark the first time for sports betting legislation since the fall of PASPA.
NFL seeks out VP of sports betting
It appears the NFL is starting to come around on legalized sports betting.
The professional football league has circulated a new vice president of sports betting position via headhunters, one that will oversee its betting initiatives.
As detailed by Legal Sports Report, the new position would help “protect the integrity of the game,” advance the NFL’s brand and reputation, drive fan engagement, and grow the value of the NFL’s data and IP.
The chosen candidate would collaborate with the NFL’s media department to produce “content for gaming purposes” while integrating “gaming products into the NFL’s platforms.”
This makes it seem as though the NFL is warming to the idea of legalized wagering. Its pro league counterparts – NBA, MLB and NASCAR – have already integrated similar roles.
Regardless, with a franchise about to lay roots in Las Vegas (the Raiders), with an official casino partner (Caesars), it only makes sense for the NFL to embrace the world of gambling.