As a record number of gamblers place wagers on the Super Bowl LVIII on Sunday, offshore websites such as BetUS are jumping on the Kelce-Swift hype train and taking off-field wagers — or bets on occurrences outside the actual game — on all things Swiftie.
“It’s been pretty incredible,” Tim Williams, director of public relations for BetUS told Business Insider. “This is the very first time we’ve seen any off-field prop bets challenge or even overtake the half-time show.”
Propositions, or prop bets unrelated to gameplay are largely prohibited in the US. Betting platforms such as BetUS or BetOnline, another sports booking site offering Swiftie props, operate in Costa Rica and Panama, respectively.
“There are no states that have approved bets related to Taylor Swift for the Super Bowl,” a spokesperson for the American Gaming Association told BI in an email. “If you’re seeing a website offering them, it’s an illegal offshore website that is not overseen by any US regulator.”
Still, betting on props related to the halftime show — such as how many backup dancers there will be — is fairly common and contributes significantly to sports gambling platforms’ bottom lines for game day.
“It’s pretty considerable being that we take many thousands of bets on the half-time show,” Williams said, adding, “People bet on that stuff pretty religiously.”
Newbies taking a risk on Taylor
The Kelce-Swift combo appears to have attracted a new demographic of gamblers, according to Williams.
Williams told BI that BetUS has seen “a lot of new user generations,” including more women and people who are interested in wagers outside sports, such as the Academy Awards, which is coming up in March.
At BetOnline, the site offers 89 wagers — a reference to Swift’s “1989” album — solely around Swift and Travis Kelce.
Will Donald Trump post about Swift on Truth Social? You can bet on that. What color lipstick will the pop sensation wear? You can also bet on that.
Will Kelce propose to Swift in the locker room after the big game? The odds are heavily against you, according to the numbers on BetOnline, but the payout promises to be huge: $2,500 for every $100 you put in.
A spokesperson for BetOnline did not respond to a request for comment.
Nobody is getting rich off of these prop bets, however, according to Williams.
BetUS and BetOnline have limits on the wagers, ranging from $100 to a couple hundred dollars.
Williams said it’s uncommon for BetUS to take large wagers on props such as the halftime show or Swift. Part of the reason is for the company’s security.
If there are 75 backup dancers for Usher’s halftime show on Sunday, that’s a lot of people who could know the answer to what a common prop gambling site might offer, the spokesperson said. So if BetUS gets a call from someone betting $10,000 on the number of dancers, that’ll be a red flag for the platform.
Besides, Williams said novelty prop bets aren’t supposed to be serious wagers.
“It’s meant to be fun, it’s meant to be entertainment,” he said. “We don’t want anybody losing a lot of money on Taylor Swift.”
More players gonna play, play, play
Betting on the Super Bowl overall is expected to draw record numbers.
According to the American Gaming Association, about 67.8 million Americans are expected to bet on the game, which is a 35% increase from last year. A survey by the industry association showed that US bettors plan to wage $23.1 billion on this year’s game, including legal and illegal sportsbook wagering, an AGA spokesperson told BI.
Williams expressed enthusiasm for Swift’s ability to not only draw new customers to the BetUS platform but also to the game in general.
“Dare I say, Taylor Swift has been quite good for business.”