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Vegas Sportsbooks Take a Hit on Super Bowl LVIII Despite Record Wagers

The inaugural Super Bowl in Las Vegas proved to be a mixed bag for sportsbooks. Despite shattering wagering records, the Kansas City Chiefs’ nail-biting overtime win over the San Francisco 49ers led to smaller-than-expected profits for bookies.

Nevada sportsbooks raked in an eye-popping $185.6 million in wagers on the game, but only held 3.7% as revenue, totaling $6.8 million. While this may seem like a hefty win, analysts predicted hefty losses thanks to the public’s overwhelming support for Kansas City. In fact, sportsbooks across the nation reportedly suffered an estimated $64 million in total losses as Chiefs fans celebrated.

Despite the unfavorable outcome of the game itself, Las Vegas still celebrated as Sin City became the Super Bowl betting mecca it was always destined to be. Big rollers flocked to town, placing million-dollar wagers, while casual football fans joined the action.

So, why the surprising result? Analysts explain that the Chiefs’ win benefited gamblers far beyond Nevada. Online sports betting expansion to over half of the U.S. states brought in new bettors. The game’s low scoring and lack of big-name performances also impacted wagers like same-game parlays. But perhaps the biggest factor? Overtime can lead to unexpected outcomes, a fact sportsbooks know all too well.

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