The Philadelphia Eagles vs. the Kansas City Chiefs marks the first Super Bowl matchup that features at least one participating state with legalized online sports betting. Original PlayPennsylvania projections suggested Pennsylvania would likely bring in around $65 million in bets on the Big Game, just shy of last year’s high of $68 million.
However, the Eagles representing the NFC in the 2023 Super Bowl could have a significant impact on the handle numbers in the Keystone State.
If that prediction pans out, Pennsylvania would see an increase in Super Bowl handle for a fifth straight year.
PA Super Bowl handle in prior years and expectation for 2023
The fifth year Pennsylvania is able to bet on the Super Bowl is also expected to be the largest.
Pennsylvania sportsbooks have seen steady increases in handle over the four prior years:
- 2019: $10 million
- 2020: $30.7 million
- 2021: $53.6 million
- 2022: $68 million
In 2022, Pennsylvania ranked fourth in handle across the country, trailing Nevada, New York and New Jersey.
Nevada, New York and New Jersey are expected to hold the top spots again in 2023 Super Bowl handle. Pennsylvania is going to have competition for the fourth spot, likely from Illinois and Ohio, which just launched online sports betting earlier this year.
According to our projections, Pennsylvania Super Bowl handle should easily hit $65.01 million in 2023. However, potential impact from Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl berth in a state with a huge, passionate fanbase could push PA north of $80 million in bets on the Big Game. It would beat last year’s total of $68 million.
“Pennsylvania has become a reliable workhorse for the US sports betting industry, seemingly unfazed by launches in neighboring states and the effects of fatigue that are appearing in some mature markets,” said Catena Media market analyst Eric Ramsey. “It’s hard to quantify the impact of the Eagles’ participation as it relates to volume, but it certainly wouldn’t be a surprise to see local operators blow this forecast out of the water.”
*Note: The graphic above includes PlayPennsylvania’s baseline projection, without potential Eagles effect.
Eagles Super Bowl berth could help PA sports betting handle increase YoY
Had the Eagles not made the Super Bowl, our projections indicate Pennsylvania would likely have flattened out year over year with around $65 million in handle.
With the Eagles in, Super Bowl betting in PA could easily be competing for the fourth spot for handle.
Here are some other top state’s projections for Super Bowl handle:
- Nevada: $176 million
- New York: $161 million
- New Jersey: $115 million
- Illinois: $86 million
- Ohio: $82 million
Ohio is expected to eat into Pennsylvania’s handle numbers a bit. Buckeye State bettors don’t have to drive across the border to place bets anymore. Illinois is seeing a sharp increase from 2022 (60.5 million) as this is their third Super Bowl.
Since this is the first year at least one team in the Super Bowl represents a state in which online sports betting is legal, the Eagles’ participation could counteract what Ohio would take away. That could mean Pennsylvania brings in near what Ohio does, in the ballpark of $80 million. But as the situation is also unprecedented, the true effect remains to be seen.
Ohio’s new legal sports betting market is likely to dip into Pennsylvania’s handle for other big events too going forward, such as March Madness.
How the Phillies World Series run can foreshadow PA Super Bowl handle
Pennsylvania sportsbooks set an all-time record for handle with a total of $797.1 million in the month of October 2022. Much of that is due to all four major sports playing at the same time. The Phillies World Series run in October also had an effect, though perhaps minimal impact on the overall handle picture.
There are far more games in a baseball season than the entire NFL playoffs and obviously, the Super Bowl. Having said that, Philadelphia fans went to bat for the Phillies in October. It should come to no surprise that handle numbers could increase with the Eagles in the Super Bowl.
Though the Phillies reached the World Series, it did not mean Phillies fans backed their team. Bryan Newman, General Manager of FanDuel Sportsbook and Lounge at Live! Casino and Hotel Philadelphia, told PlayPennsylvania that much of the action for the World Series was on the Astros.
“Some people do it as an emotional hedge, but others think the Astros are the better baseball team,” Newman said in October.
Live! Casino Philadelphia set a state record for retail sports betting handle, recording $10.05 million in October. The South Philadelphia casino broke its own record handle on NFC Championship Sunday. They expect to break another record on Super Bowl Sunday.
“Eagles fans are ecstatic and we’re seeing that at FanDuel Sportsbook & Lounge at Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia. Sunday’s NFC championship game was the most wagered-on game ever in our sportsbook’s history, beating past years’ Super Bowl numbers by 50%,” Newman said this week. “We’re expecting that the upcoming Super Bowl will break this Sunday’s record. Philly fans are a loyal bunch, and we expect an overwhelming number of bets to be for the Eagles to win, as has been the case throughout the season.”
Though the Super Bowl is only one game, it is the Big One, and you can bet the effects of a Philadelphia team in the championship setting will show up in the betting slips.