Super Bowl LVIII is already breaking records in the amount of money being laid on the line at sportsbooks nationwide, with a shocking $23.1 billion in bets.
The New York Post claims that one in four Americans will gamble on the Super Bowl, adding up to 68 million Americans placing a wager on the game’s outcome. That is a massive 35 percent jump over the $16 billion in bets for last year’s big game.
Even though gambling has pretty much been legalized everywhere, the Post also noted that a large amount of betting is still being down outside the sportsbooks and betting apps. The paper reported that $1.5 billion is being wagered through legal sources, but that is only a tiny slice of the estimated $23.1 billion in bets the game is drawing.
So, why the illegal gambling underground still a thing? You can thank the government and sportsbooks for their high taxes and fees for that, the paper says. Many gamblers still prefer illegal betting because they can avoid the extra costs and reap more of their winnings.
Still, Chris Grove of Ellers & Krejcik says that legal gambling is still in a growth phase.
“Our view is that the regulated sports betting market is well on its way to eclipsing the illegal sports betting market in the U.S. – it’s just a matter of the major remaining states like California and Texas passing bills and a few more years for regulated sports betting operators to fully connect with customers,” Grove told the Post.
“With that said,” he continued, “there will likely always be a substantial illegal market for sports betting in the U.S., as the illegal operator holds a number of advantages over the regulated casino sportsbook, such as the ability to offer credit, the willingness to provide a level of anonymity, and the lack of substantial tax rates weighing down profits.”
Even as so many other states have jumped onto the gambling bandwagon, several large states have resisted the siren call for more tax revenue, including Texas, California, Georgia, and North Carolina.
“It’s projected that 12.8 percent of the overall betting action — the most — will take place in Las Vegas, where the game is held, while 12.4 percent is expected in New York and 9.6 percent in New Jersey,” the paper reported.
It is also estimated that 42.7 million Americans will place bets with legal sportsbooks, even though 36.5 million will stick with their private “squares” contests at work or other betting pools.
The number of people who say they intend to watch the Super Bowl is up, too.
The paper says that some 73 million Americans are preparing to tune in, nearly a ten percent increase over last year’s viewership. Some attribute that to the fact that Taylor Swift will be at the game in Las Vegas to root for her boyfriend, Chiefs star Travis Kelce.