Super Bowl betting reaches new heights in era of legalization
Super Bowl Sunday isn’t just about the big game and the guacamole.
Yes, the host Los Angeles Rams will play the Cincinnati Bengals in Super Bowl LVI on Sunday in front of a crowd of 70,240 at SoFi Stadium. Yes, the annual NFL season finale continues to be one of the most watched events on television.
But it is also the unofficial holiday of sports bettors around the world.
With single-match sports betting getting the legal stamp of approval from Ottawa last August, Canadian sports fans have been able to take advantage of the previously obscure industry as a legitimate way to spend billions each year.
Andrew Paterson, Coolbet Canada brand ambassador and host of the Lock Shop podcast, has seen sports betting rise in popularity over the past few years.
“You might be a big fan of a particular team or maybe you love a particular sport, but the fact is people are a lot more engaged and often have a little more fun if they have a little action on the game,” he said.
“That’s basically becoming the norm right now.”
The American Gaming Association estimates that a record 31.4 million American adults plan to bet on Super Bowl LVI, an increase of 35% from 2021. Bettors are expected to bet around 7.61 billion dollars on this year’s championship game, up 78% from last year.
This rise in betting has been facilitated by legalization, apps available on smartphones, and the influx of marketing from mass media organizations seeking to capitalize on the lucrative industry.
“There has been a culture change. Things that used to be frowned upon or looked down upon are just a little more accepted,” Paterson said, pointing to the industry’s transformation from taboo to legitimacy.
“People realized it was happening somehow. It’s kind of a rocket ship right now.
While sports betting has grown exponentially in recent years, the Super Bowl adds another element for bettors looking to splash the cash.
Not only the usual bets – total score, winning team and player performance – are available. There are also prop bets like what will Eminem’s hair color be for the halftime show? Will he be wearing a hoodie and a hat? What color is the Gatorade poured on the winning trainer’s head?
The possibilities may not be endless, but they are certainly many.
A further increase in cross-sports betting is also making the action interesting in entirely new ways.
“You can bet on what will be more – the Rams’ receptions in the game or how many goals Canada will score in the Olympics against China this weekend?” said Paterson.
“It’s all over there right now.”
Last September, the province announced that the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority (SIGA) would launch single-match sports betting through a new betting website and betting app in 2022.
Currently, sports bettors in Saskatchewan are limited to the Western Canada Lottery Corporation (WCLC) Sport Select platform. Parlay bets are made in person at WCLC outlets such as gas stations and convenience stores. However, Saskatchewan sports bettors have the option of betting legally online with offshore sportsbooks operating in Canada.
“It’s the biggest betting event of the year,” Paterson said. “The main thing is that there will be a lot of excited people at the end of the game.”