Americans To Wager $6 Billion On The Super Bowl

Viktor Vangelov | Published 29 Jan 2019, 3:17 p.m.

The calls to legalise sports betting in the United States aren’t stopping, and it seems that there are quite a few strong reasons to do it. As you may already know, America is one of the last developed countries where most forms of gambling are completely outlawed or severely restricted.

However, Americans are still placing real money wagers, usually at online sites run by companies that are based offshore. So, US citizens are still betting, but they get no protection and the state earns no tax revenue. That doesn’t make lot of sense from a fiscal perspective, not to mention that punters aren’t protected.

The American Gaming Association (AGA) estimates that bets in the amount of $6 billion will be wagered on the Super Bowl LIII. A lot of these bets will be placed with betting operators that operate illegally in the US, which means that the state would get a penny out of those bets.

The AGA Supports Betting Legalisation

The chief of the AGA, Bill Miller, stated that everybody at the Association is pretty happy with the fact that states have greater liberties when it comes to sports betting and its legalisation, but he also added that a more vigilant approach is required to tackle the illegal market, considering that the illegal placement of sports wagers is quite common in the US.

The Super Bowl and the interest that it sparks is a great example of the need to legalise sports betting, Miller pointed out. He said that the level of awareness is at its peak, and that a lot of individuals and organisations think that legal and regulated sports betting in the country is needed.

He added that since there are legal betting operations in a total of eight states, more people than ever will be able to place real money wagers legally and that this would generate revenue for the local governments.  Of course, the ability to place wagers legally, with full protection guaranteed by state authorities will also increase fan engagement.

One In Ten Americans To Bet On The Super Bowl

Miller also addressed the abovementioned illegal market and its size. It is estimated that about 23 million Americans will be betting on the Super Bowl, which, he reckons, makes it crucial for jurisdictions to enact provisions and develop policies that will protect citizens who wish to place a bet on the most popular sports game in America.

The AGA conducted a survey and the results indicated that one in ten people in the US intends to place a wager on this year’s Super Bowl, with the amount expected to reach $6 billion. Fewer people plan to back the Patriots (48%), whereas more than half of all punters (52%) intend to bet on the Rams.

It is estimated that less than two million will place a wager though and illegal bookie, whereas a lot more will place their bets with an illegal offshore sportsbook.

Massachusetts Considering Betting Legalisation

It appears that regardless of the DOJ opinion and their decision (DOJ gives operators 90 days to implement the changes), the interest in legalising sports betting is still strong, with many states considering the option to reach this decision in the upcoming period. Towards the end of last year we reported of the plan for Michigan to legalise online gambling and now it seems that Massachusetts is next in line to legalise sports betting. It is estimated that the state would earn about $35 million in tax revenue per year.