In an unprecedented event, Las Vegas made history by hosting Super Bowl LVIII, setting new records in betting handle and marking a groundbreaking chapter in sports gambling history.
Nevada sportsbooks experienced an astounding $185.6 million in wagers, breaking previous records and highlighting the immense popularity of sports betting in the region. The Nevada Gaming Control Board released figures showing a significant increase from the previous year, with a 21.2% surge in betting activity.
The Kansas City Chiefs emerged victorious in a thrilling showdown against the San Francisco 49ers, securing their second consecutive Super Bowl title and third in five years with a 25-22 overtime victory. Despite being 2-point underdogs, the Chiefs defied the odds, making waves in the sports betting world.
Michael Lawton, senior economic analyst at the Nevada Gaming Control Board, attributed the record-breaking handle to several factors, including the matchup with a West Coast team from the No. 2 feeder market for Las Vegas, coupled with the defending champions, and the game being played in Las Vegas itself.
However, the triumph for bettors spelled trouble for sportsbooks, with Nevada’s 182 sportsbooks collectively winning $6.8 million, marking a relatively low hold percentage of 3.7%. The public’s overwhelming support for the Chiefs, coupled with successful bets on the overtime prop, dealt a blow to the sportsbooks.
Chuck Esposito, sportsbook director at Red Rock Resort, noted the palpable excitement surrounding the event and expressed his belief that the record would be broken, citing the influx of early wagers and the occurrence of six-figure bets two weeks prior.
Las Vegas emerged as the epicenter of Super Bowl betting fervor, with five of the eight $1 million bets nationwide placed in the city. Stakeholders, including BetMGM and Circa Sports, played a pivotal role in orchestrating the monumental event, earning accolades from Kirk Hendrick, chairman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board, for their contributions.
One of the most notable bets on the Super Bowl showdown came from Canadian rapper Drake. Despite concerns fueled by the infamous “Drake curse,” the rapper’s $1.15 million bet on the Kansas City Chiefs paid off as they defeated the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl, breaking the curse. This victory marks the second year in a row that Drake has successfully backed the Chiefs, earning him approximately $2.34 million according to his bet slip.
As the dust settles on Super Bowl LVIII, Las Vegas basks in the glow of a historic milestone, solidifying its status as the ultimate destination for sports betting enthusiasts worldwide.