Published Monday, Feb. 2, 2015 | 3:42 p.m.
Updated Monday, Feb. 2, 2015 | 5:30 p.m.
Nevada sports books reported an impressive amount of wagering on last weekend’s Super Bowl, but they didn’t profit as much as in recent years.
Sports bettors wagered nearly $116 million in Nevada on this year’s Super Bowl, several million short of the record-setting $119.4 million wagered last year, according to figures released today by the state Gaming Control Board.
Of that amount, sports books won about $3.3 million, or 2.8 percent.
New England pulled off an impressive defeat of Seattle, 28-24, in Glendale, Ariz., thanks to a surprising interception toward the end of the game.
It was a thrilling outcome for Patriots fans, but not so much for sports books. William Hill director of trading Nick Bogdanovich told the Las Vegas Sun that the result was “our one losing scenario” and that “the game couldn’t have been worse.”
The total amount wagered on the championship game between the Patriots and the Seahawks is still the second-highest Nevada has ever seen, according to gaming board senior research analyst Michael Lawton.
“It's still a phenomenal number as far as the volume goes,” he said.
But the sports books’ win percentage is the lowest since 2011, when they won about $724,200, or 0.8 percent, on Green Bay’s 31-25 defeat of Pittsburgh. Last year, sports books won about $19.7 million — 16.5 percent — of the total wagers on Seattle’s 43-8 victory over Denver.
Over the last 10 Super Bowls, the only time Nevada sports books lost money was in 2008, when the New York Giants bested the Patriots, 17-14.
Nevada is currently the only state with full-fledged sports betting, but public officials and industry leaders are mulling over a possible expansion largely due to concerns about illegal wagers. Prior to this year’s Super Bowl, the American Gaming Association predicted that $3.8 billion would be wagered illegally on the game. That’s almost as much as the $3.9 billion wagered last year at Nevada sports books.
Sen. John McCain said recently that Congress should hold hearings to consider a wider legalization of sports betting. In November, National Basketball Association Commissioner Adam Silver wrote in favor of legal sports betting via an op-ed in the New York Times.