With sports betting still illegal in Texas and California, Florida is the largest state, population-wise, where you can legally place bets on live sports. It might be why the American Gaming Association is expecting a record-breaking number of Super Bowl bets, with more than 67 million Americans expected to put money on the big game.
Come Sunday, the Hard Rock Bet app will see one of its busiest days yet with Super Bowl LVIII set to entice millions of Floridians into wagering their money on the big game for the first time.
“Part of that’s driven by the kind of compelling, match up we have this year with the personalities on the field. Part of it’s driven by people’s ability to bet on the game,” said David Forman, the vice president of the American Gaming Association. “That drives engagement and excitement. The game is in Vegas for the first time ever this year, which is a real testament to the mainstreaming of sports betting.”
According to the American Gaming Association, 26% of American adults plan to bet on the Super Bowl, which is about 67.8 million people. That’s a 35% increase in participation compared to last year’s Super Bowl when people bet a total of $16 billion. In this year game, Americans are expected to spend $23 billion on wagering.
As legalized sports-betting expands so does the temptation and risk. As Forrest Arthur, a gambling addiction specialist, explained, there are signs for when people should know if they have a problem.
“You’re worrying about whether or not you can cover your bets. You’re worrying about what you’ve lost interfering with other bills or obligations,” Arthur said. “A big one are social consequences. Family, spouse, friends, coworkers who have discussed it with you and suggested that it might be a problem for you, but you continue doing it.”
If you do plan to bet in Florida, know the Hard Rock Bet app is the only legal means to do so. You can bet on everything from the total score to the winner to say Mahomes having two touchdowns, a $5 bet that’ll net you $130.
However, Forman explained, if you see bets like how long the National Anthem will be, know they aren’t being offered by any legitimate or legal betting company.
“If you see a bet on something like how many times will Taylor Swift be shown during the game? That’s a good indication that you’re looking at an illegal book, and you’re at risk of not getting paid out,” Forman said.
Similar to Swift’s effect on female viewership of NFL games, she may also be influencing betting. According to Fan Duel, player prop bets on Travis Kelce have more than doubled since she’s been attending games.
Forman said they expect to see a 51% increase in women betting.