February 15, 2022 3 min read


Super Bowl Handle Smashes Nevada Sportsbooks Record

As expected, Super Bowl LVI drew a massive number of gamblers who wagered record amounts of money. The Nevada Gaming Control Board figures are out and the results are mind-blowing: passionate bettors who took part in the highest anticipated sports event of the year wagered close to $180 million in sportsbooks within the state, setting a new Super Bowl handle record.

Into the Spotlight: Nevada’s Sportsbooks and the Rams

According to a previous report issued by the American Gaming Association, more than 31.4 million Americans were eager to place a bet on the game between Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals. Compared to the 2021 figures, the 2022 numbers anticipated an important increase by 35%, showing Americans’ interest in sports betting has never been so intense. As a response, the National Council on Problem Gambling released a warning targeting sports fans interested in complementing watching the event with placing sports bets.

The Rams made a spectacular comeback and won 23 to 20 last Sunday, bringing home their first title in 22 years and giving lots of bettors reasons to celebrate. However, they weren’t the only ones to pop the victory champagne at the end of the spectacular Super Bowl event. They were joined by Nevada’s 179 sportsbooks, which set a new historical Super Bowl betting record for the state.

According to official numbers issued by Nevada Gaming Control Board’s chairman Brin Gibson, the figures that are still pending an audit indicate a massive sportsbook win of more than $15.4 million on wagers that totaled totaling close to $180 million. The hold percentage was calculated at 8.6%, which would mean that this year’s numbers managed to surpass the 2021 Tampa Bay figures, with $136 million in wagered money and a $12 million win for sportsbooks.

The 2022 Super Bowl betting handle numbers also soared past the 2019 state record of $158.6 million with a $1.1 sportsbook win. The state managed to set records for Super Bowl handles during three consecutive years between 2016 and 2018. However, the 2021 handle that was severely influenced by the pandemic was the lowest since 2016.

The Legalization of Sports Betting Triggered the Surge

Among other things, the amount of money that bettors chose to wager on this year’s Super Bowl was heavily influenced by the acceptance and legalization of sports betting in many US states. According to Red Rock Resort’ director Chuck Esposito, a “confluence of factors” made the surge possible, including the higher number of in-play and prop bets, the -4½ spread and the available money line wagers, the ongoing development of sports betting on mobile, and the industry’s approval of higher limits on bets.

The rise in massive bets has been a constant in recent years, with lots of million-dollar wagers being placed across Las Vegas. The state sportsbooks managed to break their record this year, even though they did not take Mattress Mack’s $9.5 million worth of bets that the Houston furniture store owner chose to place via Caesars Sportsbook’s mobile app while in Louisiana. Caesars also accepted three-million-dollar wagers in Las Vegas, while BetMGM accepted three-million-dollar bets at Bellagio.

Another significant factor that helped the handle skyrocket was the presence of a Californian team in the Super Bowl. Caesars’ vice president of trading Craig Mucklow believes each time a team from California is in the Super Bowl, Nevada records a huge betting handle.

The fact that masks were no longer mandatory during the event made attendees and the general public from behind TV sets at home feel like a normal environment ready for partying that the Super Bowl stadium enjoyed a 100% rate of occupancy compared to half of that in 2021 50 also worked in favor of Nevada sportsbooks.

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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