Nevada Cashes In, But Public Also Hits Big on Super Bowl 58

The Super Bowl is one of the biggest betting events of the year in Las Vegas, and sportsbooks are ready for large handle – and profit – every February.

Feb 14, 2024 • 12:55 ET
NFL Super Bowl Las Vegas
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The first Super Bowl held in Las Vegas, Nevada was a success by most accounts. But it was a triumph for the state's coffers.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board announced the Monday after Super Bowl LVIII that a record-breaking $185.6 million was bet in Nevada at its 182 sportsbooks.

However, those sportsbooks were likely left feeling a little disappointed, as they collectively registered just a $6.8 million win and 3.7 hold percentage after the Kansas City Chiefs beat the San Francisco 49ers 25-22. After all, the books listed the 49ers as -2 favorites. Not only did the Chiefs win outright, they did so in overtime, allowing many alternate over bets to get to the number as well.

"It was a bad Super Bowl for the sportsbook," BetMGM senior trader Tristan Davis said. "Many bettors had the Chiefs winning and overs on popular player props."

The impact in other states

More than $162 million was bet on the Super Bowl in New York and the handle was north of $141 million in New Jersey. The sportsbooks took in $12.46 million in revenue in New York and $8.5 million in the Garden State.

The handle in New Jersey fell just a couple million short of the $143.7 million record set in 2022.

A Brief History of Super Bowl Betting in Las Vegas

The Super Bowl is the biggest single event for sports betting in North America and that means big business in Nevada—the Mecca of U.S. sports gambling. 

Even as more states roll out legal betting, the famed Silver State sportsbooks, like those on the Las Vegas Strip, are still the measuring stick in terms of Big Game betting success.  

The growing popularity of Super Bowl betting has Nevada bookmakers flirting with record numbers for total Super bowl handle (money wagered) and sportsbook win every February. And with Las Vegas an appealing destination in the cold winter months, football fans flock to Sin City sportsbooks—the next best place to watch the Big Game besides attending the Super Bowl itself.

Here’s a look at the Super Bowl betting results for Nevada sportsbooks since 1991:

Super Bowl (Year) Super Bowl Result Total Handle Sportsbook Win Hold (Win %)
Super Bowl LVIII (2024) Kansas City 25,
San Francisco 22
$185.7 million $6.9 million 3.7%
Super Bowl LVII (2023) Kansas City 38, 
Philadelphia 35
$153.2 million $4.4 million 2.8%
Super Bowl LVI (2022) Los Angeles 23,
Cincinnati 20
$179.8 million $11.1 million 6.2%
Super Bowl LV (2021) Tampa Bay 31,
Kansas City 9
$136.1 million $12.6 million 9.2%
Super Bowl LIV (2020) Kansas City 31,
San Francisco 20
$154,679,241 $18,774,148 12.1%
Super Bowl LIII (2019) New England 13,
Los Angeles 3
$145,939,025 $10,780,319 7.4%
Super Bowl LII (2018) Philadelphia 41,
New England 33
$158,586,934 $1,170,432 0.7%
Super Bowl LI (2017) New England 34,
Atlanta 28
$138,480,136 $10,937,826 7.9%
Super Bowl 50 (2016) Denver 24,
Carolina 10
$132,545,587 $13,314,539 10.1%
Super Bowl XLIX (2015)  New England 28,
Seattle 24
$115,986,086 $3,261,066 2.8%
Super Bowl XLVIII (2014) Seattle 43,
Denver 8
$119,400,822 $19,673,960 16.5%
Super Bowl XLVII (2013) Baltimore 34,
San Francisco 31
$98,936,798 $7,206,460 7.3%
Super Bowl XLVI (2012) N.Y. Giants 21,
New England 17
$93,899,840 $5,064,470 5.4%
Super Bowl XLV (2011)  Green Bay 31,
Pittsburgh 25
$87,491,098 $724,176 0.8%
Super Bowl XLIV (2010) New Orleans 31, Indianapolis 17 $82,726,367 $6,857,101 8.3%
Super Bowl XLIII (2009) Pittsburgh 27,
Arizona 23
$81,514,748 $6,678,044 8.2%
Super Bowl XLII (2008) N.Y. Giants 17,
New England 14
$92,055,833 -$2,573,103 -2.80%
Super Bowl XLI (2007) Indianapolis 29,
Chicago 17
$93,067,358 $12,930,175 13.89%
Super Bowl XL (2006) Pittsburgh 21,
Seattle 10
$94,534,372 $8,828,431 9.34%
Super Bowl XXXIX (2005) New England 24, Philadelphia 21 $90,759,236 $15,430,138 17.00%
Super Bowl XXXVIII (2004) New England 32, Carolina 29 $81,242,191 $12,440,698 15.31%
Super Bowl XXXVII (2003) Tampa Bay 48,
Oakland 21
$71,693,032 $5,264,963 7.34%
Super Bowl XXXVI (2002) New England 20,
St. Louis 17
$71,513,304 $2,331,607 3.26%
Super Bowl XXXV (2001) Baltimore 34,
New York Giants 7
$67,661,425 $11,002,636 16.26%
Super Bowl XXXIV (2000) St. Louis 23,
Tennessee 16
$71,046,751 $4,237,978 5.97%
Super Bowl XXXIII (1999) Denver 34,
Atlanta 19
$75,986,520 $2,906,601 3.83%
Super Bowl XXXII (1998) Denver 31,
Green Bay 24
$77,253,246 $472,033 0.61%
Super Bowl XXXI (1997) Green Bay 35,
New England 21
$70,853,211 $2,265,701 3.20%
Super Bowl XXX (1996) Dallas 27,
Pittsburgh 17
$70,907,801 $7,126,145 10.05%
Super Bowl XXIX (1995) San Francisco 49,
San Diego 26
$69,591,818 -$396,674 -0.57%
Super Bowl XXVIII (1994) Dallas 30,
Buffalo 13
$54,483,221 $7,481,541 13.73%
Super Bowl XXVII (1993) Dallas 52,
Buffalo 17
$56,811,405 $7,174,869 12.63%
Super Bowl XXVI (1992) Washington 37,
Buffalo 24
$50,334,277 $301,280 0.60%
Super Bowl XXV (1991) New York Giants 20, Buffalo 19 $40,080,409 $3,512,241 8.76%

How Does Vegas Always Win?

Well, it's not always, but it's extremely consistent. As the above table shows, Nevada sportsbooks have posted just two losing Super Bowls since 1991, though there have been a few very lean wins of 1 percent or less. For the most part, though, the books have done well.

Jay Kornegay, a decades-long industry insider who oversees operations of The SuperBook as vice president of race and sports for Westgate, explained the long-term success.

"I believe it’s been a combination of a few results," Kornegay said. "The futures have been very favorable over the years. There haven't been that many years where we lost on NFL Super Bowl futures. The outcomes have treated the books very well over the years."

Indeed, with 32 teams to bet on and only one winner, by the end of each season, oddsmakers only have to dodge that one big popular bullet or a long shot that took a lot of money at larger odds and somehow got to and won the Super Bowl.

The massive growth of Super Bowl prop bets over the past decade or so has also contributed greatly to sportsbooks' success in the market.

"The Super Bowl propositions have been out-handling the game itself for many years now," Kornegay said, speaking not only of prop-bet activity at The SuperBook, but all Nevada sportsbooks. "In most cases, the results have been positive for the operators."

And more recently, the explosive growth of betting via mobile app has been tremendous for the Super Bowl, not just up until kickoff, but throughout the game with in-game betting.

"As we all know, the mobile channel has been growing each and every year. It’s no different for the biggest single wagering event of the year," Kornegay said. "In-game wagering has also grown over the years, and its popularity during the Super Bowl has seen a spike in the last few years, as more customers are comfortable with that option."

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