PA Sports Bettors Wagered $53.6 Million on Most-Bet Super Bowl Ever

Posted By Katie Kohler on February 9, 2021

Betting on the Super Bowl exploded as data from GeoComply shows more than triple the action on Super Bowl weekend compared to last year. A spokesperson from BetMGM said it was the most-bet Super Bowl ever.

In Pennsylvania, bettors wagered $53.6 million on Super Bowl LV, a 74% increase from the previous year’s big game according to figures released on Tuesday by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. Sportsbook operators’ revenue, after payouts is estimated to be $9.4 million and a huge swing from last year when the books lost $3.3 million as a result of the Super Bowl.

About 89% of all bets on the Super Bowl in Pennsylvania were placed online.

Increase in sports betting app users

PGCB also reported that 320,000 unique users logged onto online sports betting sites in Pennsylvania on Super Bowl Sunday based on data it obtained from GeoComply, a geolocation technology service. It’s a significant jump from last year’s 200,000 unique visitors.

In all legal sports betting markets, data from GeoComply reveals online transactions topped 32 million over Saturday and Sunday, up 236% from 9.5 million in 2020.

Sports betting apps crash from increased traffic

Action at PA online sportsbooks was so brisk on Super Bowl Sunday it caused site outages for top operators. The problems occurred about an hour before kickoff and for some, continued until the second quarter.

The following sports betting apps in Pennsylvania had technical issues:

DraftKings, BetRivers and Barstool are all powered by Kambi. DraftKings issued a statement that stated the problems were caused by high traffic to Kambi, its backend provider.

Here’s a statement from a DraftKings’s spokesperson regarding the outages:

“We’re aware customers were unable to access our mobile and online Sportsbook. It appears this outage was caused by a surge in traffic that caused problems for our backend provider. Our DFS and pools products, supported by in-house technology, are functioning without issue. This incident is why we believe owning our own technology is important.”

DraftKings is planning to move onto its SBTech platform this year.

In December, FanDuel, DraftKings and Barstool were the top three operators, respectively, in terms of total sports betting handle in Pennsylvania.

Online handle and revenue rises

Super Bowl LV between the Kansas Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was the second Super Bowl that Pennsylvanians were able to wager on a sports betting app and the third they were able to bet at a retail location.

During last year’s Super Bowl, there were eight online sportsbooks. Now, there are 12 sports betting apps available in Pennsylvania. Here’s a comparison of numbers from this year and last year.

Super Bowl online handle

  • 2021: $47.5 million
  • 2020: $24 million

Super Bowl online revenue

  • 2021: $9.4 million
  • 2020: -$2.8 million

Super Bowl retail handle

  • 2021: $6.1 million
  • 2020: $6.7 million

Super Bowl retail revenue

  • 2021: -$24,264
  • 2020: -$450,894

Nevada and NJ have bigger SB handle

Betting on the 2021 Super Bowl produced a big year-over-year increase for users, handle and revenue in Pennsylvania. The state also imposes an industry-high 36% tax rate.

Pennsylvania’s monthly sports betting figures rank the Commonwealth third behind New Jersey and Nevada. So far, in terms of Super Bowl LV handle, PA ranks third, also.

In Nevada, $136.1 million was wagered on Super Bowl LV resulting in a $12.5 million win for the sportsbooks. It marked in a decrease from last year’s handle ($154.7 million) and win ($18.8 million) for Nevada sportsbooks.

New Jersey released its Super Bowl figures yesterday and wagers totaled $117 million, a 116% increase from 2020 according to NJ DGE. Early returns from NJ sportsbooks indicate that Super Bowl 55 resulted in a $11.3 million win for state’s sportsbook operators. The projected payout for winning bets is $106.1 million.

In 2020, gamblers wagered $54.3 million on the Super Bowl and sportsbooks in NJ. The books in New Jersey lost $4.2 million in 2020 and $4.5 million the year before.

In December 2020, New Jersey posted a national record for sports betting handle ($996 million) and revenue ($399 million).

Sportsbooks respond to Super Bowl LV

The Kansas City Chiefs (-3) were favored to repeat as Super Bowl champs but the Buccaneers, led by the ageless GOAT, Tom Brady, rolled to a 31-9 victory.

Statements from PA sportsbooks after Super Bowl LV:

Jason Scott, VP of Trading at BetMGM:

“Betting activity on the Super Bowl was at an all-time high, making it the most bet on Super Bowl to date. The ideal outcome for BetMGM would have been for the Chiefs to win and cover. That said, the books were fairly balanced, with a lot of public action on the Chiefs, and the Buccaneers victory was a small win for the sportsbook. Congratulations to all of our customers that won money on Tom Brady and the Bucs.”

Email statement from FanDuel after Super Bowl LV:

“New customers also had a great night with Tampa’s dominance, as $17 million was paid out to new customers as part of FanDuel Sportsbook’s 55-1 offer. Overall, the Tampa win and cover of the +3 spread paid out more than $27 million to FanDuel customers in pre-match betting on the core Spread and Money Line markets.

“The FanDuel Sportsbook app was the third most downloaded app in the Apple Store today behind only TikTok and Robinhood. In addition, Fox’s Super Six and FanDuel’s Big Game Bingo had approximately 2 million free-to-play entries across our FanDuel Group Properties. “

Will Super Bowl handle equal more broken records?

Will PA’s “super” handle lead to another record? In December, the state broke its record for sports betting handle with $548.6 million. Revenue approached all-time highs at $34.1 million and brought total bets placed in 2020 over $3.5 billion.

January figures for PA sportsbooks are expected in mid-February.

Lead image credit: AP Photo/Steve Luciano

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Katie Kohler

Katie Kohler is a Philadelphia-area based award-winning journalist. She covers the Pennsylvania gambling industry with an emphasis on sports betting, online casino/poker and the lottery.

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