More bets were most likely placed on Super Bowl 56 than any other game in NFL history, and it is expected to have been the largest sports betting activity ever for any single-day sporting event.
According to GeoComply, a leading geolocation and fraud detection security company, more than 80 million online transactions were made on the game, which was won by the Rams over the Bengals 23-20. That is a 226% increase from the previous year’s Super Bowl. Those online transactions indicate activity between account holders and sportsbooks, which is predictive of betting activity.
#SuperBowlLVI stat round up:
•More than 80.1 million geolocation transactions over the weekend. A 2.26x increase from Super Bowl weekend last year!
•Approximately 5.6 million unique accounts accessed legal online sportsbooks this weekend. A 95% increase from last year! pic.twitter.com/JivlCuh66o
— GeoComply (@GeoComply) February 14, 2022
GeoComply reported that 5.6 million unique accounts used legal online sportsbooks over Super Bowl weekend, which is a 95% improvement from Super Bowl 55.
It will take a few weeks for states to report sports betting revenue for February, and January numbers are expected any day. Once the data is revealed, it’s expected to show a tremendous nationwide surge in betting on the NFL playoffs and Super Bowl.
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Influx of States Fuels Sports Betting Growth
Since Super Bowl 55 in 2021, four states launched online sports betting: Connecticut, Arizona, Louisiana, and the largest market to date, New York. Several other states, including Ohio, Florida, and Illinois, have legalized sports betting but have either not yet launched or have restrictions in place limiting activity.
The addition of the New York market in January, just in time for the College Football Playoff and the NFL Playoffs, has pumped a large number of new customers into the market, which was born out of the 2018 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that a 1992 federal ban on sports betting was unconstitutional.
States that have an active legal sports betting market are taking in tax revenue from sportsbooks, each of which pays large sums just to have a license to operate. In New York that fee was $25 million. Tax rates range from 7 percent to as high as 51 percent in New York, and states use their revenue to fund education programs, general budget items, as well as on problem gaming resources.
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Changing Attitudes On Sports Betting
Legislation and new markets have made it more possible for football fans to legally wager on the NFL, but the cozy relationship of the league and its teams toward sportsbooks fosters a new acceptance of the activity as well.
The NFL has no fewer than four deals with sportsbooks, including PointsBet, which served as NBC’s official sports betting partner for their broadcast of the Super Bowl.
The separation of sports betting and the game on the field, which once led broadcast partners to avoid mention of point spreads, has disappeared like Tom Brady. Individual NFL teams have deals with official betting partners, venues are plastered with signage for sportsbooks, and media online and offline are sponsored by betting partnerships. Sports betting is no longer the elephant in the room. It’s as much a part of the NFL as end zone dances and quarterback controversies.
As the New York Times reported recently, the NFL has performed an “about-face on sports gambling” that’s reaping the league piles of cash and seemingly increasing the popularity of their sport. The just-completed NFL Playoffs were punctuated by some of the most thrilling games in recent memory.
Former NFL stars like Peyton Manning and Drew Brees lend their names to sportsbooks and appear in commercials for sports betting. Teams fold sports betting content into their programming on all media channels, and pre-game in-stadium promotions built around betting experiences are commonplace. The advent of live sports betting has also been popular with fans of America’s most-watched sport.
What’s Next? More Markets, More Betting, More Revenue
The sports betting party will only get bigger. More markets will open between now and Super Bowl 57, and that means more Americans and Canadians in Ontario will have an opportunity to legally bet on the NFL. That increased activity will lead to more tax revenue for states and provinces and their adjacent public programs. It will also cement the status of sports betting (especially online sports betting) with fans in the U.S.
Expect the NFL to closely monitor its relationships with sportsbooks in 2022. The market is still nascent, and allegations like the one leveled by former head coach Brian Flores that the owner of the Miami Dolphins offered him money to help the team lose games to secure a draft pick will surely lead the NFL to safeguard the integrity of their sport.
Challenges aside, the future appears profitable for the NFL in regards to sports betting, and an open regulated market is also good for the consumer.