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Super Bowl Betting Down in Vegas: Up Online

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Feb/04/2009
Super Bowl

The Super Bowl betting numbers are in and the results: A total of $81.5 million was wagered in the state's sports books on Super Bowl XLIII, an 11.5 percent decrease from the game's 2008 handle, according to figures released Tuesday by the Gaming Control Board.  It was the lowest handle since 2004.

The state's 176 sports books won $6.7 million for a win percentage of 8.2.

Books rebounded this year partly because the Steelers, favored by 61/2 to 7 points, won but failed to cover the spread. 

Las Vegas Hilton sports book director Jay Kornegay told the Las Vegas Review Journal that handle was up from last year, and he expected the state's total might threaten $90 million.

The hundreds of Super Bowl betting propositions were said to have helped drive revenue as well.

Online the story may have been different.  While Internet betting companies have stopped reporting financial results following passage of the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act in October 2006, affiliate partners were reporting massive increases over last year.

The Gambling911.com website, which does not accept bets itself nor receive a percentage of losses from online gambling establishments as part of an affiliate relationship, similarly reported record traffic numbers well beyond the end of the game.  Gambling911.com is widely considered the most visible websites covering sports betting odds news, with extensive around-the-clock coverage of the 2009 Super Bowl.  The site received nearly 3.5 million hits in a 36 hour period.

"It was unusual this year compared to the last Super Bowl in that gamblers continued hitting the (online gambling) websites throughout the game as part of the live betting features now offered and the ability to access via iPhones and Blackberrys," commented Payton O'Brien, Senior Editor of the Gambling911.com website.

There was some question, however, related to the amounts wagered.  Some speculate that the current economic situation may have contributed to smaller bets compared to last year in both Vegas and online.  All hotels on the Las Vegas strip reported full bookings. 

Nielsen Media Research says that the Arizona-Pittsburgh Super Bowl game was the most-watched one in history.

Nielsen said yesterday that 98.7 million people, on average, were watching Pittsburgh's 27-23 victory Sunday night. That beats the 97.5 million who watched the 2008 game between the New York Giants and New England, which had held the record for most popular Super Bowl.

Meanwhile, The Pittsburgh Steelers aren't getting a lot of respect from oddsmakers at 8:1 odds to win the 2010 Super Bowl in Miami.

Ben Roethlisberger and the boys engineered one of the most dramatic Super Bowl finishes in history and the bulk of the team will return intact. That includes most of the number one defense in the NFL as well as all major offensive weapons, including Super Bowl MVP Santonio Holmes.

However, oddsmakers at Sportsbook.com aren't bowled over by the thought of the Steelers going ‘back-to-back' as Pittsburgh is just ahead of Baltimore (10:1) and the New York Giants (10:1) as the three closest teams to the New England Patriots (7:1).

Year Wagers Win/(Loss) Win Pct. Score (Las Vegas Numbers Only)

2009 $81,514,748 $ 6,678,044 8.2 Steelers 27, Cardinals 23

2008 $92,055,833 $(2,573,103) (2.8) Giants 17, Patriots 14

2007 $93,067,358 $12,930,175 13.9 Colts 29, Bears 17

2006 $94,534,372 $8,828,431 9.3 Steelers 21, Seahawks 10

2005 $90,759,236 $15,430,138 17.0 Patriots 24, Eagles 21

2004 $81,242,191 $12,440,698 15.3 Patriots 32, Panthers 29

2003 $71,693,032 $5,264,963 7.3 Buccaneers 48, Raiders 21

2002 $71,513,304 $2,331,607 3.3 Patriots 20, Rams 17

2001 $67,661,425 $11,002,636 16.3 Ravens 34, Giants 7

2000 $71,046,751 $4,237,978 6.0 Rams 23, Titans 16

Christopher Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher 

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