The first Super Bowl with legalized sports betting in New Jersey (NJ) was possibly one many sportsbooks will want to forget. 888sport and other NJ Online Sports Betting outfits such were underwhelmed by their losses on the big game. In the long-term, perhaps all NJ’s licensed sportsbooks may put a positive brand-name association spin on this debut Super Bowl for the fledgling NJ Sports Betting Industry.
Looking purely at the figures, Nevada’s Sports Betting Industry absolutely crushed NJ, but there’s more-to-it than that.
For the record, for those living on Mars recently, Tom Brady and Bill Belichick led the New England Patriots to a grinding victory, defeating the Los Angeles Rams 13-3 in Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta, to post a record-equalling sixth NFL title.
Starting in Nevada, the Super Bowl Sunday total betting handle came just under $146m, roughly $12.6m below the 2018 betting record. However, this year’s net win for the bookies came in at around $10.8m, a significant improvement over last year’s less-than-stellar $1.1m.
We heard several anecdotes of Nevada bettors turning simple $25 wagers into $10k by taking +40000 odds on the Rams to score exactly three points. However, overall, it seems that gamblers in the Silver State were betting more heavily on the Rams to win, and hence the good day out for the bookies as the Rams went on to lose. Simple geography and emotional attachment to their ‘home’ (and eventually losing) team may account for the good Super Bowl results for the betting industry in Nevada.
Meanwhile, in NJ, the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement reported that state-licensed sportsbooks took in just under $35 million in Super Bowl bets, a figure that surprised many observers who expected the Garden State to do much more approximately one-quarter of Nevada’s take. Again, going along geographical lines, NJ’s first Super Bowl with legal sports betting resulted in a big win for the gambling public in the Garden State and an industry handle that underwhelmed. By losing $4.6m on the game, it appears that NJ’s betting public were loathe to back the Rams from the West and stuck with the team they knew from the East in the Patriots. It wasn’t just that the Patriots won, but they also covered the points spread which resulted in the bad day out for NJ’s sportsbooks.
The $34.8 million Super Bowl take adds to the $1.24 billion in wagers the NJ Sports Betting Industry has taken after legal sports betting kicked-off in the Garden State in June 2018. The industry turned a handy $94.2 million profit on the 2018 handle. NJ’s sportsbooks are still very much in-the-black despite the humdrum results on the biggest sports betting event of the year.
Just the Beginning – The NJ Industry will Bounce Back
Regional variations can sometimes produce skewed betting results.
Perhaps the more relevant statistic is the long-term one. Nevada sportsbooks have come out ahead in 27 out of the 29 years since the Nevada Gaming Control began tracking bets on the Super Bowl in 1991, with the only losses coming in 1995 (49ers defeating the Chargers) and in 2008, when the NY Giants shocked the previously undefeated Patriots. NJ has time on its side.
March Madness, the next major sports betting event, is only a little more than a month away. It will be interesting to see how the two states compare then.