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Super Bowl Sports Betting Results In Major Losses For NJ Sportsbooks

Written By Bart Shirley on February 8, 2019 - Last Updated on October 4, 2023
Super Bowl halftime shows

The Super Bowl supposedly pits the two best football teams against one another, but this year’s edition proved to be a sloppy game with only 16 total points scored. However, Americans were able to wager on the game in more locations than ever before.

Betting on the Super Bowl produced wildly different results in Nevada and New Jersey – the two states most active on Feb. 3. However, in both cases, this year’s Big Game had some unexpected outcomes.

Super Bowl betting in New Jersey

Handle: $34,894,900

Revenue: ($4,574,247)

New Jersey sportsbooks are probably not in a hurry to host betting on another Super Bowl anytime soon. New Jersey bettors tuned up the operators for nearly $40 million in payouts, representing a $4.5 million loss for the books.

The biggest loser for the game appeared to be FanDuel. The sportsbook reported a $5 million loss for bets on the game, primarily due to its 53:1 moneyline boost promotion that it offered on both teams.

As it turned out, the vast majority of players (75 percent) wagered for the New England Patriots, owing to both the team’s historical success and geographic proximity to the region. The Pats’ 13-3 victory meant that FanDuel was left holding a very expensive bag.

FanDuel rival DraftKings took a bath as well, paying out $11 million against $10 million in wagers. Their losses were also driven by bettors hammering the Patriots’ moneyline. Pats bettors outnumbered Rams bettors by more than 2-to-1.

Such will be the plight of New Jersey sportsbooks. Up to this point, Nevada books have not had to deal with strong regional biases in their wagering. With so many rabid fanbases nearby, Garden State sportsbooks will likely begin adjusting their lines accordingly.

Super Bowl numbers in Nevada

Handle: $145,939,025 

Revenue: $10,780,319

Super Bowl wagering in Nevada occurred on a far greater scale than in the Garden State. Nevada bettors placed almost four times as many bets as their East Coast counterparts.

All that activity did translate into a win for the sportsbooks in the state. Super Bowl sports betting revenues in Nevada were roughly $10.8 million, good enough for a 7.4 percent hold.

In fact, that percentage significantly exceeded the typical hold for Nevada sportsbooks, which usually hovers around 6 percent. The extra win is probably the result of less-experienced bettors putting money down on the Big Game.

As successful as the game was for Nevada sportsbooks, the wagering did not reach the heights of the previous year. In fact, the books in the Silver State took $12 million less in wagers than they did for the 2017 game.

Nevertheless, Nevada sportsbooks can celebrate a fruitful engagement with the Big Game. There’s no doubt that New Jersey books would’ve preferred a reduced handle if it meant a win for everyone.

How other states fared

Elsewhere, Super Bowl wagering produced solid, if modest, numbers in the other new sports betting states. In many cases, the full breakdown of statistics is not yet available.

However, Mississippi bettors reportedly wagered $4.67 million on the Big Game. West Virginia players put down just over $2.8 million in bets.

So, it would seem that many were dipping their toes in the water this year. Next year, there’s no telling how big the splash will be.

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Bart Shirley

Bart Shirley is the managing editor of evergreen content for PlayUSA. He’s been writing and reporting on the gambling industry since 2013. Prior to working for PlayUSA, Shirley was a feature writer for QuadJacks, a site covering issues in poker. He also writes for BonusCodePoker, a poker satire site that lampoons the lighter side of card games. Shirley is a graduate of the MBA program at Texas Christian University’s Neeley School of Business and has a degree in English from Texas A&M University. He grew up in Houston, TX, and lives in Katy, just west of Houston. Shirley is also a former high school teacher. He is married, has one daughter, and practices Brazilian jiu jitsu in his spare time.

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