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August 16, 2018

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Bettors gamble record amount on Super Bowl, cut down on sports books’ hold

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Glenn Pinkerton / Las Vegas News Bureau

Fans stand in line to get their bets in for the big game at the South Point Sports book, Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018.

Tack on another record to Super Bowl 52.

In addition to setting a handful of all-time highs on the field, the Philadelphia Eagles’ 41-33 victory over the New England Patriots on Sunday night brought record betting handle in Nevada. Bettors wagered a total of $158.58 million throughout the state’s 198 sports books, according to a press release from the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

That’s $20.1 million more than last year’s Super Bowl, which held the previous record. A new high has now been set in four of the last five years.

Bookmakers won’t remember the Eagles’ win as fondly, though. The sports books collectively made only $1.17 million on this year's Super Bowl for a hold of .7 percent.

That’s the lowest hold percentage on a Super Bowl win for casinos since 1996, when they held .6 percent on the Denver Broncos’ 31-24 win over the Green Bay Packers. Sports books have only suffered a loss on the Super Bowl twice in 29 years, since the gaming commission began tracking the numbers.

The Eagles winning a high-scoring game was the worst-case scenario for the majority of books, with bettors loading up on the underdogs to win outright on the money line as well as the “over” 48 points.

Case Keefer can be reached at 702-948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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