Posted by Harry Kane on Tuesday, November 30, 2021
It’s fair to say that Super Bowl LVI more than lived up to expectations, as NFC champions Los Angeles overcame the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20 to claim their second historic NFL crown on February 13th. Incredibly, this was the second consecutive year in which a team claimed the Super Bowl in its home stadium, with this phenomenon having not previously occurred prior to 2021.
Beyond the on-field action, however, the 2022 Super Bowl also saw a record-breaking number of online wagers in states and jurisdictions nationwide. We’ll explore this below, while analysing the impact of legalisation in locations such as New York.
Betting on the Super Bowl – What Happened in 2022?
BetMGM, which is a venture that was forged by a merger between Entain and US behemoth MGM, certainly recorded a significant uptick in interest on the day of the 2022 Super Bowl. More specifically, the brand announced that it handled twice as many bets as during last year’s Super Bowl event, whit it also recorded a record number of first-time users and signups on the day of the match.
This reflected a much wider trend, with Super Bowl betting and wagering having increased markedly in recent times and the 2022 iteration considered to be the most backed on history. According to the geolocation brand GeoComply, more than 80.1 million transactions relating to the Super Bowl were recorded during the weekend of the event. Once again, this is more than double the number pertaining to the 2021 Super Bowl, with several sportsbooks benefitting as a result of this rising trend.
Take WynnBets, for example, which now operates in nine states and posted record numbers in relation to 2022 Super Bowl betting. Interestingly, the brand was active in just two states last year, but growth in the sports betting market has occurred just in time to transform the popularity of the Super Bowl from a punter’s perspective.
It’s estimated that the final value of these transactions will largely be in line with the amount forecast prior to the event. According to the Americal Gaming Association, some 31.4 million Americans were expected to wager a record $7.6 billion on the 2022 Super Bowl, with this representing a theoretical increase of 80% when compared to last year.
In New York alone, more than $2 billion Super Bowl wagers were placed this year, from a local population of around 20 million. This was according to official data released by the governor’s office, while these figures reaffirmed that New York accounted for the most digital bets of any US state. Penn National confirmed that the Super Bowl LVI broke all records in terms of the total number of bettors and the value wagered.
It also said that new thresholds were set for the unique number of daily bettors for its Barstool Sportsbook platform, with this similar to the experience of market leader BetMGM. What’s more, we can expect these records to be smashed further in subsequent Super Bowls, as more states look to legalise sports betting (both physically and online) and sportsbook look to operate in a larger number of jurisdictions.
Why is Super Bowl Betting on the Rise?
The question that remains, of course, is why has Super Bowl betting enjoyed such a surge in 2022? The answer lies primarily in the proliferation of sports betting in US states. Back in May 2018, the US Supreme Court overturned the longstanding, 1992 ‘PAPSA’ legislation, which has historically prohibited all iterations of sports betting at federal level (outside of Nevada).
By striking down this law, the Supreme Court allowed individual states and local authorities to legalise sports betting within their boundaries. Gambling hotspots such as New Jersey and Delaware were quick to capitalise on this new legislation, while others have followed suit in the 42 months since.
Twelve state authorities (including Florida and North Carolina) began offering legalised sports betting in 2021 alone, bringing the overall number of states where digital gambling is legal to a whopping 31. Of course, this trend has been accelerated by the lucrative and commercial nature of sports betting, with high demand translating into significant yields for sportsbooks.
This can be leveraged by states to create more tax revenue for their Treasuries, driving economic growth and lowering unemployment in the process. More states are expected to follow suit through 2022, and in time, we’d expect only a handful of jurisdictions to resist legalised sports betting due to to social, morale and largely religious objections. This has certainly offered punters greater access to Super Bowl betting markets in recent years, and particularly 2022.
To this end, US market leader DraftKings paid out more $175 million for the closely-contested Super Bowl game, while further data collated by GeoComply found that 5.6 million accounts accessed legalised remote sportsbooks prior to and during the event. The latter figures represented an 95% increase on last year, and as we say, we’d expect this trend to continue aggressively in the near-term and beyond!
The Last Word
Currently, we’re still waiting for a number of states (including New Jersey and the Big Apple) to finalise the total value of bets taken, but the initial figures already highlight a record year for Super Bowl wagering in the US. Not only is this a direct result of more progressive regulatory changes in the US marketplace, but it has also come at the optimal time for sportsbooks.
Recently, brands have been spending significant and arguably unsustainable amounts in customer acquisition costs, in order to compete for a viable share of the marketplace. In the case of BetMGM, who weren’t actually considered to be as aggressive as some of their rivals, it was revealed that the long-term acquisition cost of each customer averaged out at $250.
So, operators were reliant on a bumper haul of wagers to help mitigate such costs and post a viable profit. Going forward, there’s no doubt that the Super Bowl will continue to see record betting numbers, while this remains a key indicator of how the US iGaming market continues to blossom across the board.