It’s information overload everywhere, and there’s not time enough to sleep and eat and stay fully apprised of what’s happening on this crazy blue dot of ours (two out of three ain’t bad). Here’s the weekend Sports Handle item, “Get a Grip,” recapping the week’s top U.S. sports betting headlines, highlighting some fresh news, and rounding up key stories.
Top stories around our network this week
Sunday brings what has been deemed the biggest sports betting day of the year — which is such a huge deal that some legislators in Tennessee think the day after should be declared a government holiday for everyone to recover.
Not everyone is necessarily excited about Sunday’s super-duper contest, in which the Philadelphia Eagles are a 1.5-point favorite over the Kansas City Chiefs at most sportsbooks. Even with two exciting young quarterbacks leading high-scoring teams, there’s a contrarian point of view that with so much legalized sports betting taking place across America these days, wagering on the Super Bowl doesn’t have the special allure it once held.
But don’t tell that to the one-in-five American adults who expect to be wagering on the game in one form or another, according to the American Gaming Association. And as it turns out, that may even be a low-ball estimate, based on a separate National Research Group survey estimating more than a third of the population will be in action on the game, with about two-thirds of the bettors planning to risk at least $100.
While the NRG found the most popular type of bet would be on the moneyline — with 40% of survey respondents indicating they would simply pick either the Eagles or Chiefs to win — the Super Bowl is widely known for its creative and even crazy prop bet opportunities, unlike anything seen during the regular season. Naturally, the Sports Handle staff found a few of those in which they plan to partake — for better or worse, or more aptly, for richer or poorer.
Super Bowl LVII is one that shows just how far the marriage of legal sports betting with the most popular of all American sports has come. The game in Glendale, Arizona, marks the first time — but far from the last, with Las Vegas next up as host — that the Super Bowl has been played in a state where no one has to find a dim corner of a bar to surreptitiously place a bet on the game. Heck, BetMGM operates a retail sportsbook right outside State Farm Stadium where people have been placing bets all week and can do so on Sunday.
It’s a whole new ballgame from most of the 56 prior Super Bowls, in other words, including the AGA’s estimate that some $16 billion will be wagered in some form on the game — about twice as much as what it said last year. Sports Handle’s staff and network of sites have been all over these developments, as with so much more in the sports betting industry, as this past week’s stories show.
A lot of big talk in Texas
Exactly one month to Massachusetts start
We don’t wanna hear it, loser
Sportsbook ads? What sportsbook ads?
Jersey trying to lead, as ever
Potential reversal in Virginia
It’s the people’s will … maybe
A bit of uncertainty surrounds BetMGM
Here a billion, there a billion, it adds up
Bettors from beyond the boundaries
GeoComply shared this week that consumers in non-legal states have been attempting to log into sports betting platforms at a high rate in two newly legal states — Ohio and Kansas. The company says it has blocked 1 million attempts by Kentuckians to access Ohio platforms since Jan. 1, and that 9 million Missourians have tried to access platforms outside their own state since Kansas’ Sept. 1, 2022, launch.
GeoComply also said that in January, it tracked 2,000 accounts crossing the border from Kentucky to Ohio to bet — legally — 7,000 times, and on the day of the AFC Championship, 236 accounts traveled from Missouri into Kansas to bet. In the nearly six weeks since Ohio’s launch, GeoComply shared that it has confirmed the creation of 2.25 million digital accounts in the state.
— Jill R. Dorson
Mobile bettor growth slowed in 2022
According to Global Wireless Solutions (GWS), the number of female users who signed up for mobile sportsbook accounts in 2022 grew by 45%, or 3.2 million additional women, while 4.1 million more men (a 23% increase) used sports betting apps for the first time. These figures are down from a 115% growth rate among women and a 63% growth rate among men in 2021, according to a similar GWS study from the previous year, but are still deemed impressive.
“With only three additional states legalizing sportsbook betting in 2022, compared to the 31 who have introduced the practice over the previous three years, some might have expected betting activity to temporarily plateau in the U.S,” said GWS CEO Paul Carter in a press release. “To the contrary, data from our mobile intelligence platform shows sportsbook betting is only continuing to grow in popularity and the ability to bet via one’s phone is driving the industry to new heights.”
GWS found that while BetMGM saw the largest percentage increase in female users (220%) on its sportsbook app, FanDuel saw the most significant rise in raw numbers, with 1.5 million women and 3 million men signing up for mobile accounts in 2022.
— Mike Seely
Betfred makes Maryland debut
Betfred’s mobile sportsbook is officially live in Maryland. The sportsbook operator this week became the eighth mobile betting platform to go live in Maryland, which launched legal mobile sports wagering in November. Betfred is now operational in 10 states, including Virginia, where it also recently launched mobile operations.
Betfred launched a temporary retail sportsbook in November at Long Shot’s in Frederick, Maryland, where a permanent retail sportsbook is expected to open in the coming months. There are 10 retail sports betting locations open in Maryland, in addition to the eight mobile sports betting platforms.
— Bennett Conlin
More of the most important, interesting stories
BACK IN THE U.S., BACK IN THE U.S., BACK IN …: With Las Vegas in the past, Sands sets sights on New York and Texas [The Nevada Independent]
THERE’S A CHANCE IN OKLAHOMA: Sports betting bill authored in both Oklahoma chambers [Guthrie News]
THERE’S NO CHANCE IN HAWAII: Ahead of Super Bowl, effort to legalize online sports betting fails in Hawaii Legislature [Hawaii News Now]
THESE TOUTS TEND TO RUN COLD: With the help of a sloth, Ripley’s Aquariums penguins predict Chiefs will win Super Bowl LVII [Ripley Entertainment]
GATLINBURG, Tenn. (WCYB) — The Super Bowl is this Sunday and Ripley's Aquariums MVP (Most Valuable Penguins) have made a bold prediction; the Kansas City Chiefs will win the Super Bowl! https://t.co/XzBvki3KAR
— Ashley Hoak (@AshleyWCYB) February 9, 2023
GIVING GAMBLING A BAD NAME: Investigators disrupt alleged Las Vegas sports betting embezzlement scheme [KLAS]
JAKE PAUL MEETS HIS MATCH: Bomani Jones highly critical of Jake Paul and Betr sportsbook [SBC Americas]
AMAZON FINDS BETTING TALK AMAZIN’: Amazon’s Prime Video antes up on sports betting [Front Office Sports]
THE RISE OF THE NEWLY ADDICTED GAMBLER: Therapist says sports betting means her clients are getting a lot younger — and wealthier [Fortune]