Online betting for Super Bowl LV expected to surge

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Here’s one more thing the coronavirus pandemic has ruined for at least some people: betting on the Super Bowl. The American Gaming Association, the gambling industry’s national trade group, predicted in a report Tuesday that the number of people planning to bet on the big game will decrease this year.

That’s largely because people haven’t returned to work settings, where office pools are often circulated. Fewer people are planning to make in-person bets at casinos and horse tracks, the association said.

Still, the report predicts a rapid growth of legal sports betting in the U.S. that should easily smash records in money wagered online — the manner in which most sports bets are made. Half of the 50 states have legalized sports betting, with markets up and running in time for this year’s Super Bowl in 21 of them.

The AGA report said 23.2 million Americans plan to bet about $4.3 billion on the game that pits defending champions Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs against Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That would be a decline of 12% from last year. But the report also forecast a record 7.6 million Americans betting with online sportsbooks, up 63% from last year.

The AGA estimates are based off a survey of 2,200 people from Morning Consult conducted last month.

“COVID-19 has disrupted everything about American work and recreation, and we can expect the patterns of betting on this year’s Super Bowl to reflect this reality,” said David Schwartz, a gambling historian at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. “It is likely that, with many Americans working remotely, betting in office pools will be down. Bettors may also not place bets in sportsbooks before and during the game. But with the increased prevalence of legal online betting options, it is likely that the level of bets placed with state-regulated sportsbooks will increase. “

Buccaneers and Chiefs set for Super Bowl LV 13:05

Johnny Avello, head of sportsbook at DraftKings said he expects “huge numbers” from the game.

“Let’s face it, this matchup is about as pretty as you can get: the defending champions against a guy who’s been there before,” he said. “It just looks like a winner all around.”

Jay Croucher, head of trading at PointsBet, said that while the amount wagered at in-person locations “might inevitably decrease due to the current landscape, this will ultimately be more than outweighed by what we expect to be record numbers for online wagering on the Super Bowl.”

FanDuel also expects a record amount to be bet on the game, as does Jason Scott, vice president of trading for BetMGM.com.

Adrian Vella, managing director of the Tipico sportsbook, said conditions are perfect for record-breaking online betting this year, including so-called “prop” bets on the performance of individual players.

“With the Super Bowl just a few days away, novelty game props and player prop single bets are coming in fast and furious, indicating a surge in casual bets by fans stuck at home from the snow, quarantine, or both,” Vella said.

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