ATLANTIC CITY, NJ (AP) — As legal sports gambling proliferates, the number of Americans betting on the Super Bowl — and the total amount they bet — is on the rise, though most of the action always off the books.
It is estimated that one in five American adults will make some kind of bet, paying out $16 billion, twice as much as last year, according to an industry trade group.
Even though legal gambling has spread to two-thirds of US states, independent analysts say only about $1 billion of the total Super Bowl wagered will go through casinos, racetracks or companies such as FanDuel and DraftKings. , whose ads have become ubiquitous during sporting events.
In other words, the vast majority of people still bet with friends and family, participate in office pools, or try their luck with a bookmaker.
More than 50 million American adults are expected to bet on the national championship game between the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs, according to the American Gaming Association. This is a 61% increase over last year.
Addiction experts say aggressive advertising contributes to an increase in problem gambling.
“As sports betting grows, the risk of problem gambling increases,” said Keith Whyte, executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling.
Thirty-three states, plus Washington, DC, now offer legal sports betting, and more than half of all American adults live in one of those markets.
“Each year, the Super Bowl serves to highlight the benefits of legal sports betting,” said Bill Miller, president and CEO of the gambling association. “Punters are transitioning to regulated market protections…and legal operators are generating the necessary tax revenue to states across the country.”
But legal sports betting is still only a small slice 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 wagers will be made legally. The top states are: Nevada ($155 million); New York ($111 million); Pennsylvania ($91 million); Ohio ($85 million) and New Jersey ($84 million).
The research firm estimates that 10-15% of this total would be wagered live after the start of play. Another 15%-20% would take the form of bets on the same game, or a combination of bets involving the same game, like betting on the winner, total runs scored and passing yards Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts will accumulate.
As legal sports betting grows, so do their effects on people with gambling problems.
The National Problem Gambling Council has conducted nationwide investigations since 2018, when New Jersey won a case in the U.S. Supreme Court, clearing the way for all 50 states to offer legal sports betting. They ask questions like, “Have you ever borrowed money to gamble?”
Between 2018 and 2021, the number of people whose responses indicated they were at risk of having a gambling problem increased by 30%, said Whyte, the council’s executive director.
He added that the Super Bowl provides an opportunity to see how responsible gaming messages and campaigns by sportsbooks and professional sports leagues working.
On Tuesday, New Jersey gambling regulators unveiled new requirements for sportsbooks to analyze the data they collect about their customers to look for evidence of problem gambling and take various steps to intervene with those. customers when warranted.
“It’s no coincidence that our announcement comes just a week before one of the biggest days in sports betting, serving as a reminder of how devastating a gambling addiction can be,” said New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin.
On 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.
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