Thursday, February 8, 2024
A record 67.8 million American adults are expected to bet US$23.1 billion on Super Bowl LVIII, according to a new survey conducted by Morning Consult for the American Gaming Association. The estimated number of bettors has increased 35% from the previous Super Bowl, while the total amount being bet is estimated to have shot up from $16 billion in 2023.
Both figures would represent records – fitting for a Super Bowl held in Las Vegas, the gambling capital of the U.S.
For the NFL, partnering with sportsbooks has been a boon for business. The relationship appears to be a natural one: Though sports betting was illegal in most of the country until 2018, it’s always been a part of sports fandom.
But as a sports media scholar, I find the league’s embrace of gambling so striking because for most of its history, the NFL had pushed the government for stricter regulations, not more lenient ones.