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Las Vegas Casinos Take In $138 Million In Super Bowl LI Bets

Written By Jessica Welman on February 8, 2017 - Last Updated on February 24, 2021
Super Bowl LI sports betting Nevada

[toc]The game itself was one for the history books, but the take on this year’s Super Bowl made history on its own.

Nevada sports books took a record $138.480,136 in bets on this year’s big game.

Nevada casinos’ take exceeds $10.9 million

Numbers from the Nevada Gaming Control Board (GCB) put the sportsbooks’ take of the bets at $10,937,826. That amount represents roughly 7.9 percent of the wagering.

There was a record amount of money taken in bets, but the profits for the casino were relatively par for the course in a game in which bets were pretty evenly split between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons.

Over the past decade, the hold for books has ranged from a high of 16.5 percent in 2014 when the Seattle Seahawks dominated the Denver Broncos to a loss of almost $2.6 million in 2008 when the New York Giants upset the Patriots.

The past four years have posted legal Super Bowl bets in excess of $100 million dollars each year.

AGA estimates $4.5 billion in total Super Bowl wagering

The American Gaming Association (AGA) released numbers last week suggesting there would be $4.7 billion in Super Bowl wagering when you factor in illegal betting.

The numbers from Nevada may seem impressive until you realize they comprise just 3.3 percent of the AGA’s projections.

The AGA’s projections increase at a rapid pace year-over-year.

Last year, the lobbying group anticipated $4.2 billion in wagers. This growing market has led to many states like New Jersey and Pennsylvania considering possible sports betting should the federal laws banning the practice in the majority of America is ever altered.

Big bets and big sweats for the NV sports books

The money was fairly evenly split between the two teams, but one unfortunate bettor decide to place what would be a losing $1 million wager on the Falcons according to ESPN Chalk.

There were also several six-figure bets on the Patriots, who were favored by three points when the line opened and remained a three-point favorite when the line closed on Sunday afternoon. Anyone who watched the game knows it looked like Patriots were a lost cause until an unbelievable fourth-quarter rally tied the game to send it to overtime.

With the game tied, the books and the bettors had two big sweats

First, there was the matter of where the final score would fall. If it came down to a field goal, essentially all of the points spread bets would have amounted to a push.

This would mean a busy couple of days refunding bets for the casinos.

In the end, New England managed to score a touchdown on the opening drive of overtime to finish the game up by six with a final score of 34-28.

Those who bet the under on the game total certainly did not appreciate the touchdown or the overtime. The totals at most books closed at 57 after opening at 57.5.

With two teams known for their offensive power and not necessarily defensive fortitude, this was the highest opening total in Super Bowl history.

The Patriots tied the game 28-28 with less than a minute left in the game, putting the total at 56, removing any possibility of a push for the under bettors. Even with the record number on the over, the game hit it, totaling 62.

The next big sporting event for Vegas is when the NCAA College Basketball tournament, or March Madness, kicks off in roughly a month.

Image credit: Katherine Welles / Shutterstock, Inc.

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Jessica Welman

Jessica Welman has worked as a tournament reporter for the World Poker Tour, co-hosted a podcast for Poker Road, and served as the managing editor for A graduate of Indiana University and USC, Welman is not only a writer but also a producer. She can be found on Twitter @jesswelman.

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