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Super Bowl in a pandemic; record number of online gamblers expected to place bets

Sports Betting-Super Bowl
Posted at 12:13 PM, Feb 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-03 12:30:53-05

The Feb. 7 match-up of the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers could set online gambling records.

As the coronavirus pandemic has cut down on formal in-person betting and casual “office pools” alike, Americans who want to place a wager on the big game or some aspect of Super Bowl LV are heading online.

The American Gambling Association estimated 23.2 million Americans will place bets on the Super Bowl this year, totally about $4.3 billion in wagers. That’s 12% fewer gamblers and 38% less money than last year.

Their survey showed sharp declines year-over-year in people planning on placing a bet with a sportsbook or bookie and people placing casual bets with friends.

However, they say 7.6 million Americans will place their bets online. That’s a 63% increase from last year.

The trade group says the increase is largely because new states have adopted laws allowing legal sports betting, adding nearly 36 million Americans who are now able to place bets legally. There are now 25 states plus the District of Columbia that allow legal sports gambling.

“With a robust legal market, Americans are abandoning illegal bookies and taking their action into the regulated marketplace in record numbers,” AGA President and CEO Bill Miller said.

For those wondering, AGA’s survey found 56% of gamblers bet on the Chiefs winning, and 44% betting on the Buccaneers.

Not all bets are about the outcome. Some sportsbooks are reporting prop bets on things like whether “COVID” will be said before “pandemic” by game announcers, how long the national anthem duet will be, and how many songs will be included by The Weeknd in the halftime show.

Super Bowl LV, will decide the league champion for the 2020 NFL season. The AFC champion Kansas City Chiefs will play the NFC champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday, Feb. 7 at 6:30 p.m.