February 23, 2024 3 min read


Around Two in Three Super Bowl Bets Were on Illegal Sites

Research from Yield Sec has concluded that around two-thirds of all bets on this year’s Super Bowl took place on the black market

According to fresh research from gambling analysis firm Yield Sec, Americans bet a total of $5.37 billion on the championship game of this year’s iconic Super Bowl event. 

Of that amount, only $1.4 billion was represented by legal wagers. Also, of the estimated 350.5 million bets that were placed on this year’s Taylor Swift-focused event, around 228.2 million were placed on gambling platforms on the black market.

In other words, approximately two in three bets on the clash between the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs were made through illegal operators

This further translates to the black market preserving its ground since last year’s edition. This is despite the legalization of betting that has been gradually taking place across the US. 

Legal gambling platforms are, however, disputing the findings of the research. The American Gaming Association (AGA) has used the results of one of its research papers that revealed that 77% of the bets placed on last year’s Super Bowl were made using legal operators.

Academics remain skeptical regarding these numbers. While trying to measure gambling in the black market is hard to do, it is known that it dominated the industry before the Supreme Court gave the green light to legal markets in 2018.

According to Oklahoma State University’s associate professor, John Holden, if regulated betting platforms would manage to take a third of the market in six years, it would be “wonderful.” 

However, he added, it would still come to show that the black market would account for the rest of the two-thirds.

Professor Holden also explained that unregulated operators offering bets on Little League baseball games will oftentimes extend lines of credit reaching the $100,000 mark, which is more than many of those people make in a year. 

An Ongoing Battle

According to the AGA, no matter what its size might be, legal gambling operators describe the perils of the black market as preying on Americans, undermining all problem gambling efforts, and grabbing tax dollars from state and local governments.

According to the director of Rutgers University’s Center for Gambling, Lia Nower, “It’s much easier for people who are underage to gamble on offshore sites.”

The AGA acknowledged that the fight against black market gambling will not be won overnight and that the industry was in it “for the long haul” while making sure not to leave any stone unturned. 

After finishing her master's in publishing and writing, Melanie began her career as an online editor for a large gaming blog and has now transitioned over towards the iGaming industry. She helps to ensure that our news pieces are written to the highest standard possible under the guidance of senior management.

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