Step right up and place your bets, your local government needs your money.
For the politicians in states that have legalized sports gambling, this is the weekend that the sports gambling proponents have been anticipating for months. The Super Bowl and the last chance for bettors to put up big money in an effort to win big or recoup their 2018-19 gambling losses. For years, New Jersey politicians have wanted a slice of the gambling pie. Last year’s Philadelphia-New England Super Bowl matchup resulted in Nevada breaking the state record for betting handle. More than $158 million was bet at Nevada’s 198 sportsbooks on one game. In 2017, Nevada’s sportsbooks took in $138.5 million in bets. In 2016, Nevada’s sportsbooks saw $132.5 million in action. The amount of money bet in Nevada on the Super Bowl has escalated. In 2013, just $98 million 900 thousand was wagered on the Baltimore Ravens, San Francisco 49ers Super Bowl.
Other states noticed the money but it was New Jersey that battled the National Football League after New Jersey voters said yes to sports betting in 2011. Lower courts kept blocking New Jersey from implementing sports betting but the Supreme Court of the United States backed New Jersey and overturned lower courts and gave New Jersey the go ahead to start sports betting. Nevada has had legalized sports gambling since 1949. In 2018, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Mississippi, West Virginia and New Mexico allowed sportsbooks to open in state casinos. Washington, DC has no casinos but sports betting may start in the District in 2019. This year’s Super Bowl betting haul will be closely scrutinized by various state legislatures that are presently debating the issue. It is conceivable that by the time the 2020 Super Bowl is played more states will offer sports betting.