Vegas Cleans Up on Super Bowl XLVIII

An upset victory by the Seattle Seahawks helped Las Vegas sports book win big. This year, wagers on the year’s premier sporting event exceeded $119 million.

Seattle dominance took bettors by surprise

Whether sports fans betting on Super Bowl XLVIII rooted for the Denver Broncos or the Seattle Seahawks, the real winner was the house.

“It was a good day for the books,” said Nick Bogdanovich, director of William Hill sports books in Las Vegas. “The patrons went 0-2—crappy game and lost money.”

In Nevada, two out of every three gamblers wagered on Denver versus Seattle for the big game. Seattle took home the prize, walloping the Broncos 43-8 on February 2.

The Super Bowl is the biggest betting event of the year, and casinos will post a profit on the spectacle for the 21st time in 23 years, reports the Las Vegas Sun. Better still, this Super Bowl set a record for wagering, generating more than $119 million in bets, far surpassing the record handle of $98.9 million set last year at Nevada sports books.

It seems most sports fans figured on Denver, and didn’t even consider a rout by the Seahawks.

“I’ve never seen so much pedestrian traffic in my life,” South Point’s Jimmy Vaccaro said. “Not that there were people wanting to bet a large amount of money, but it was person after person of $200, $500, $1,000 on Denver. The Seahawks covering, winning and holding the Broncos offense under on everything was the best result we could have asked for.”

The most informed observers thought the Broncos led by Peyton Manning were a sure thing.

“It’s going to be very close and competitive,” former NFL offensive lineman Ross Tucker told Bloomberg News before the game. “You’ve got the best teams in each conference and the two best teams over the course of the year,” said Tucker, now a host for Sirius XM NFL Radio. “I also think an overtime game would create a lot of confusion because how many casual fans wouldn’t know the rules.”

At the Peppermill Resort Spa Casino, spokesman Bill Hughes said bettors “went with the known quantity in Manning.”

All told, the casinos won $19.6 million from the game, or 16.5 percent of the bets. CG Technology announced that its race and sports books generated 16 percent of Nevada’s total handle and almost 12 percent of the total win on the NFL Championship game.