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Sizing up the Super Bow

3 February 2006

Taking place this Sunday, Super Bowl XL is destined to become the single largest day of Internet wagering in history. Gambling industry analyst and consulting firm Christiansen Capital Advisors estimates that the game will generate over $500 million in handle for North American sport books. Last year the game generated about $400 million.


"Given what we've seen in the industry growth curves, I think a billion dollars will be wagered online on the Super Bowl this year, from bets on the coin toss to the over/under on the final score. This will be the biggest single day in online sports betting history, until next year."
- Tony Delgado
SportingbetUSA

"The Super Bowl is always our biggest day in terms of betting by a long shot, as even casual fans decide they want to put a wager on the game to make the day a little more interesting for them," stated David Carrruthers, CEO of BetOnSports.com.

BetOnSports took about 520,000 wagers on last year's game, although not all of the wagers concerned the final outcome. Like many offshore sports books, BetOnSports offers a huge number of proposition wagers on different elements of the game and the hoopla surrounding it. The company expects to post more than 1,500 different specialty proposition bets by the day of the game, enabling customers to bet on the statistical performance of individual players over the course of the entire game or over a particular half or quarter, or on the total rushing or passing yards for either team over the entire game or over a particular half or quarter, along with many more statistical propositions. There are also novelty bets focusing on the entertainment surrounding the game, such as which song the Rolling Stones will play first at halftime, or whether the new Burger King mascot will score a touchdown during a new commercial broadcast during the game.

BetOnSports estimates that about 75 percent of those who bet on the Super Bowl will also bet on at least one proposition bet.

A huge number of proposition bets on the game seems to be commonplace at many offshore sports books this year, although few (if any) have listed anywhere near the 1,500 that BetOnSports boasts.

SportingbetUSA.com is offering 240 propositions, and its brand manager, Tony Delgado, has loftier expectations for wagering on Super Bowl XL than does Christiansen Capital Advisors. Said Delgado, "Given what we've seen in the industry growth curves, I think a billion dollars will be wagered online on the Super Bowl this year, from bets on the coin toss to the over/under on the final score. This will be the biggest single day in online sports betting history, until next year."

Curacao-based VIPSports.com estimates that it will take over 57,000 bets and clear $4 million in turnover on Sunday. The company offers 175 proposition wagers and over 250 ways to bet the game overall, including point spreads, futures and other scoring propositions.

Blake Wetherspoon, marketing manager for VipSports, notes that the Super Bowl always brings a large number of newbies into the world of online sports wagering. "The Super Bowl always brings out lots of new gamblers that make their first online bet on this exciting game," he said. "This is always our biggest day of the year for signups, and we expect nothing less than record signups for Super Bowl XL this year."

Last year VIPSports' on-the-day registrations improved upon the previous year by more than 70 percent. The company's number of bets taken on the game also improved by a third, and 20 percent of revenue came from proposition bets.

This year's Super Bowl contest pits the NFC's 13-3 Seattle Seahawks against the AFC's 11-5 Pittsburgh Steelers, who enter the game as four-point favorites according to most betting lines. A Steelers victory would make quarterback Ben Roethlisberger the youngest quarterback to ever win a Super Bowl. The team also carries the emotional momentum of runningback Jerome Bettis, who travels to his hometown of Detroit for what could be the final game of a Hall of Fame career.

While Pittsburgh was the AFC's lowest-seeded playoff team, Seattle was the NFC's highest seed. The Seahawks are also equipped with a healthy Shaun Alexander, who with 1,880 rushing yards and a record-setting 28 touchdowns was the league's MVP, in addition to a mighty offensive line and Pro Bowl quarterback Matt Hasselbeck.

Last year saw the New England Patriots win their second Super Bowl in a row and their third in four years. The team was favored by 7 but only won by 3 due to a late touchdown by the Philadelphia Eagles. The result was precisely what most sports books were hoping for: that the Patriots would win but fail to cover the spread. Last year's NFL season, like the current one, was also marked by several damaging weeks to sports books in which favored teams were victorious.

Nevada sports books broke records last year for both total amount wagered--$90.8 million--and win--$15.4 million. The handle was 11.7 percent better than the previous year, while the win total was 24 percent better.

Sizing up the Super Bow is republished from iGamingNews.com.
Bradley Vallerius

Bradley P. Vallerius, JD manages For the Bettor Good, a comprehensive resource for information related to Internet gaming policy in the U.S. federal and state governments. For the Bettor Good provides official government documents, jurisdiction updates, policy analysis, and many other helpful research materials.

Bradley has been researching and writing about the business and law of internet gaming since 2003. His work has covered all aspects of the industry, including technology, finance, advertising, taxation, poker, betting exchanges, and laws and regulations around the world.

Bradley Vallerius Websites:

www.FortheBettorGood.com
Bradley Vallerius
Bradley P. Vallerius, JD manages For the Bettor Good, a comprehensive resource for information related to Internet gaming policy in the U.S. federal and state governments. For the Bettor Good provides official government documents, jurisdiction updates, policy analysis, and many other helpful research materials.

Bradley has been researching and writing about the business and law of internet gaming since 2003. His work has covered all aspects of the industry, including technology, finance, advertising, taxation, poker, betting exchanges, and laws and regulations around the world.

Bradley Vallerius Websites:

www.FortheBettorGood.com