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Recession Has No Effect on 2009 Super Bowl Betting: Records Broken

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Feb/02/2009

There was a bright spot heading into this new week amidst what is otherwise a dark abyss known as the world economic meltdown.  The 2009 Super Bowl has been deemed a success despite an economic recession.

Jay Kornegay, executive director of the race and sports book at the Las Vegas Hilton, told the Las Vegas Sun Monday morning that the Super Bowl drew $92 million to sports books last year, and preliminary figures for Super Bowl 43 are indicating that this year will be similar.

"We don't have all the numbers in yet, but early numbers indicate it (the 2009 Super Bowl) should be similar to last year, which is a lot better than many had anticipated," Kornegay said. "It says a lot about the event. Despite some things being bad around us, people are willing to forget that for awhile, put some money on the Super Bowl and enjoy the weekend."

Yet another example of how gambling-related events can help boost an ailing economy.  Aside from the bets coming in, Vegas hotel rooms were nearly 100 percent booked, flights to and from the city packed all weekend and many of the city's bars were standing room only.

The news got even better online as a multi-billion dollar online gambling industry was in the process of mulling over its results.   Initial reports supported Kornegay's assessment of this year's Super Bowl.

The Gambling911.com website, which provides up-to-the-minute coverage on the Super Bowl betting front, reported its biggest traffic day with more than 2.2 million hits to the site.  Unlike with past Super Bowls, the amount of traffic never died down during the game as more and more people took advantage of live (in progress) betting via their iPhones and Blackberrys. 

"The Super Bowl provided an economic stimulus if only for a day," said Payton O'Brien, Senior Editor of the Gambling911.com website.

For gambling venues, the Super Bowl represents what is considered the beginning of a betting trifecta, with three major wagering events taking place over a two months period. 

Online gambling sites will barely have a chance to rest as the 81st Annual Academy Awards take place Sunday February 22.

"The Academy Awards are the single biggest one day nonsporting event bet on," explained O'Brien.  "Betting on the Oscars rivals that of the Super Bowl and the Kentucky Derby though the wagering amounts are typically smaller.

Sportsbooks then cash in on March Madness, which is spread over a few weeks beginning mid-March.

The Arizona Cardinals covering a +6 ½ spread did little to hurt sportsbook revenues especially with the vast number of prop bets going in favor of the house.  Sportsbook operators held their collective breaths during the final two minutes of the game as a Cardinals outright win would have resulted in the most significant damage.  Nearly 80 percent of money line bets were on the Cardinals to win outright. 

Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher

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