There aren’t many sporting events that light up sports betting apps as the Super Bowl. The last Big Game was Illinois sportsbooks’ first Super Bowl to bet on, and there was no shortage of wagers. So, just how popular was Super Bowl betting in Illinois?
The state of Illinois saw $45.6 million in wagers on Super Bowl LV, according to a report from the Illinois Gaming Board. However, sportsbooks in Illinois could have seen more money.
Sports betting apps DraftKings and FanDuel experienced outages leading up to kickoff. BetRivers customers were also affected by delays and errors.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers ultimately ended up beating the Kansas City Chiefs in an upset. The game featured two of the most famous quarterbacks in the sport in Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes.
Though regardless of the teams or names involved, Super Bowl betting will always be immensely popular. Here’s why.
Why is Super Bowl betting so popular?
Betting not just on football
While most who watch the Super Bowl are NFL fans, many non-football fans have a rooting interest. The sportsbooks know this.
There are plenty of ways to bet on the Super Bowl, even if you’ve never watched football. Illinois regulations allow a limited menu of prop bets surrounding the event and not the game.
However, some legal sportsbooks offer the following Super Bowl props that have nothing to do with football:
- Coin flip
- Length of the National Anthem
- Halftime performances
- Color of the Gatorade
In 2022, we should see even gaudier Super Bowl betting numbers.
For starters, if the sportsbooks don’t experience technical difficulties, that alone will juice handle and the number of wagers placed.
The Illinois sports betting market has also grown by quite a bit since February. From October 2020 to October 2021, sports betting handle nearly doubled.
The lack of online registration will be a missed opportunity for operators. Still, expect to see an even higher Super Bowl handle in 2022 than we did in 2021.
February is otherwise uneventful
The Super Bowl is essentially a “stand-alone” event in February. While there are other sporting events, none are as important or have the magnitude as the Super Bowl.
DraftKings, FanDuel and BetRivers accounted for 92% of the revenue made on the Super Bowl in Illinois for the month. Sportsbooks generated $1.1 million in tax revenue from the $7.7 million in profits from Super Bowl LV.
In February, there were only five online sportsbooks in Illinois.
DraftKings had the most, with $197 million in online handle and $3.2 million at the Casino Queen location.
While the Super Bowl is the most popular individual betting day of the year in the US, it is not the most popular cumulative betting event in the country.
That distinction belongs to March Madness.
How does Super Bowl compare to March Madness betting?
While the Super Bowl is a significant event for bettors, college basketball’s marquee postseason tournament is a fan-favorite across Illinois.
March Madness generates plenty of excitement, viewership and betting. Illinois sports bettors wagered $176.8 million throughout the NCAA Tournament.
Like the Super Bowl, Illinois could have seen more money thrown at March Madness.
While there weren’t sportsbook outages, Illinois bettors could not bet on Illinois college teams. Both Loyola-Chicago and Illinois teams faced off in the round of 32. The state could have collected plenty of bets on the game had in-state college betting had been allowed.
Thanks to the recently signed gaming bill, March will be different. In-person registration ends on March 5, 2022, and betting on Illinois college teams will be allowed at retail sportsbooks.