Nevada’s Super Bowl Handle Decreases, New Jersey Loses $4.5M

Nevada’s Super Bowl Handle Decreases, New Jersey Loses $4.5M article feature image

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: The Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign

  • For the first time since 2015, Nevada's sports betting handle for the Super Bowl did not increase, falling from $158.6 million last year to $145.9 million.
  • Despite the decreased handle, the state did win $10.8 million.
  • In New Jersey's first Super Bowl offering legal sports wagering, the Garden State lost $4.5 million.

Two of the largest sports gambling states had varying degrees of disappointment from Super Bowl 53.

Nevada saw its handle drop 8% from last year to $146 million, while New Jersey reported it lost $4.5 million on its first Super Bowl since the state began accepting legal bets on June 14.

DraftKings, which has the largest mobile business in New Jersey, lost more than a million dollars on the game, paying out a total of around $11 million. FanDuel, which has the largest retail business in the state at the Meadowlands, also reported a loss, noting that its customers netted an estimated $5 million.

Nevada, as it has done save for two years, made money — $10.7 million — with a hold percentage of 7.4 percent.

Johnny Avello, a longtime veteran Vegas bookmaker who is now the director of sportsbook operations for DraftKings, told The Action Network that he feels the handle fell in Vegas for a variety of reasons.

“First off, I feel like the sharps really wanted to get +3, and it was there for a very short time and then moved off,” Avello said.

Avello said taking the Rams on the moneyline was particularly appealing and that “bettors are kind of bored of the Patriots.”

Lastly, Avello said that in-game wagering wasn’t particularly appealing since the game was both close and boring.

As for New Jersey, Avello said he’s impressed with the total handle and that the loss is partly due to the huge promotional offers that operators in the state have been offering to win the business with such competition.