AP

Super Bowl gambling surging as states legalize it? You bet

Feb 7, 2023, 3:16 AM | Updated: Feb 8, 2023, 6:00 am

A customer, left, makes a sports bet at the Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, N.J., Monday, Feb...

A customer, left, makes a sports bet at the Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, N.J., Monday, Feb. 6, 2023. On Feb. 7, 2023, the gambling industry's national trade group, the American Gaming Association, predicted that over 50 million American adults will bet a total of $16 billion on this year's Super Bowl, including legal bets with sports books, illegal ones with bookies, and casual bets among friends or relatives. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)

(AP Photo/Wayne Parry)

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — As legal sports gambling proliferates, the number of Americans betting on the Super Bowl and the total amount they’re wagering is surging — although most of the action is still off the books.

An estimated 1 in 5 American adults will make some sort of bet, laying out a whopping $16 billion, or twice as much as last year, according to an industry trade group.

Even as legal gambling has spread to two-thirds of U.S. states, independent analysts say only about $1 billion of the total being wagered on Sunday’s game will happen through casinos, racetracks or companies such as FanDuel and DraftKings, whose ads have become ubiquitous during sporting events.

The vast majority of people, in other words, are still betting with friends and family, participating in office pools or taking their chances with a bookie.

More than 50 million American adults are expected to bet on the national championship game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs, according to the American Gaming Association, whose estimates are based on a nationwide online survey of 2,199 adults. That’s an increase of 61% from last year.

Experts in addiction say aggressive advertising is contributing to a rise in problem gambling.

“As sports betting expands, the risk of gambling problems expands,” said Keith Whyte, executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling.

Thirty-three states, plus Washington, D.C., now offer legal sports betting, and more than half of all American adults live in one of those markets.

“Every year, the Super Bowl serves to highlight the benefits of legal sports betting,” said Bill Miller, the gambling association’s president and CEO. “Bettors are transitioning to the protections of the regulated market … and legal operators are driving needed tax revenue to states across the country.”

But legal sports betting still represents just a small piece of the pie.

Eilers & Krejcik Gaming Research, an independent analytics firm in California, estimates that just over $1 billion of this year’s Super Bowl bets will be made legally. The leading states are: Nevada ($155 million); New York ($111 million); Pennsylvania ($91 million); Ohio ($85 million) and New Jersey ($84 million.)

The research firm estimates 10% to 15% of that total would be wagered live after the game begins. Another 15% to 20% would come in the form of same-game parlays, or a combination of bets involving the same game, such as betting on the winner, the total points scored and how many passing yards Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts will accumulate.

As legal sports betting grows, so too has concern about its effect on people with gambling problems.

The National Council on Problem Gambling has conducted nationwide surveys since 2018, when New Jersey won a U.S. Supreme Court case clearing the way for all 50 states to offer legal sports betting. They ask questions like, “Do you ever borrow money to gamble?”

Between 2018 and 2021, the number of people whose answers indicated they were at risk of a gambling problem increased by 30%, said Whyte, the council’s executive director.

He added that the Super Bowl presents an opportunity to see how well responsible gambling messaging and campaigns by sports books and professional sports leagues are working.

On Tuesday, New Jersey gambling regulators unveiled new requirements for sports books to analyze the data they collect about their customers to look for evidence of problem gambling, and to take various steps to intervene with these customers when warranted.

“It is no coincidence that our announcement comes just a week ahead of one of the biggest days in sports wagering, serving as a reminder of how devastating a gambling addiction can be,” New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin said.

As of Tuesday, the Eagles were 1.5-point favorites over the Chiefs on FanDuel, the official odds provider to The Associated Press. Bettors are evenly split on who will win the game, according to the gaming industry association.

___

Follow Wayne Parry on Twitter at www.twitter.com/WayneParryAC

___

AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

A Gila monster is displayed at the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Dec. 14, 2018. A 34-year-old Color...

Associated Press

Colorado man dies after being bitten by pet Gila monster

A Colorado man has died after being bitten by his pet Gila monster in what would be a rare death by one of the desert lizards if the creature's venom turns out to have been the cause.

16 hours ago

Police clear the area following a shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs NFL football Super Bowl celebr...

Associated Press

1 dead, many wounded after shooting at Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory parade

One person died after 22 people were hit by gunfire in a shooting at the end of the Kansas Chiefs' Super Bowl victory celebration Wednesday.

8 days ago

This image from House Television shows House Speaker Mike Johnson of La., banging the gavel after h...

Associated Press

GOP-led House impeaches Homeland Security Secretary Mayorkas — by one vote — over border management

Having failed to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas the first time, House Republicans are determined to try again Tuesday.

9 days ago

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, right, and Kenya's Defense Minister Aden Duale, left, listen during...

Associated Press

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin hospitalized with bladder issue

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has been hospitalized following symptoms pointing to an “emergent bladder issue."

10 days ago

Joel Osteen, the pastor of Lakewood Church, stands with his wife, Victoria Osteen, as he conducts a...

Associated Press

Woman firing rifle killed by 2 off-duty officers at Houston’s Lakewood Church run by Joel Osteen

A woman entered the Texas megachurch of Joel Osteen and started shooting with a rifle Sunday and was killed by two off-duty officers.

11 days ago

Follow @ktar923...

Sponsored Content by Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

Sponsored Articles

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

...

Canvas Annuity

Interest rates may have peaked. Should you buy a CD, high-yield savings account, or a fixed annuity?

Interest rates are the highest they’ve been in decades, and it looks like the Fed has paused hikes. This may be the best time to lock in rates for long-term, low-risk financial products like fixed annuities.

Super Bowl gambling surging as states legalize it? You bet