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: Amount of money wagered on the Super Bowl expected to reach $1 billion

Will you be placing a bet on this year’s Super Bowl between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Los Angeles Rams?

The total amount legally wagered on this Sunday’s Super Bowl is expected to reach $1 billion, doubling last year’s total, according to analysts at PlayUSA.

There are two likely reasons for this surge.

The first is that sports betting has never been more popular in the U.S. as states set monthly records in total bets with regularity. Sportsbooks like Caesars CZR, +5.48%, DraftKings DKNG, +5.88% and FanDuel are in constant competition to draw in new customers with free-bet promotions and deposit-matching initiatives.

See also: Welcome to the first ‘crypto Super Bowl’: crypto ads to run during the big game for the first time

The second is more states have legalized online betting. In states where betting is most popular, like New Jersey, online betting makes up roughly 90% of all wagers placed in the state — and over the past 12 months, states like Arizona and New York began accepting online bets.

“$1 billion in legal wagering on a single game would be an impressive milestone for the industry,” Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for PlayUSA.com, wrote to MarketWatch in an email. “It would have seemed impossible just a few years ago to reach such heights, but with the expansion of sports betting over the past year it is inevitable that legal wagering will soar.”

Last year’s Super Bowl between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers saw about $500 million in legal wagers, and 2020’s Super Bowl saw a then-record $300 million.

The Super Bowl is consistently the most-wagered-on single event of the year. At times, NCAA’s March Madness basketball tournament has seen more wagers, but that is a series of events, and not a single game.

The total amount of money wagered on the Super Bowl is actually expected to be drastically higher than the $1 billion estimate when accounting for other types of betting.

The American Gaming Association is projecting $7.61 billion to be wagered on the Super Bowl in the U.S., when adding illegal wagers made through offshore sportsbooks, bets paced with a local bookie, or in a pool or squares contest. While that number might seem like a lot, those types of wagers are expected to make up a lower percentage of the total amount bet on the Super Bowl in 2022 than it did last year.

A whopping 31.4 million Americans are expected to place some kind of wager on the game, according to estimates.

The high betting expectations for Super Bowl LVI come as New York set a new monthly record for most amount of money wagered in a state in just its first three weeks of legalized mobile betting: $1.6 billion.

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