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68.7 million Americans bet record $23.1 billion on Super Bowl

The Super Bowl matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers drew a record $23.1 billion in bets from a quarter of the population in the United States, equivalent to around 67.8 million people.

A survey by the American Gaming Association (AGA) showed that approximately 42.7 million bettors are expected to place their bets on online platforms, while 36.7 million will participate in pool contests or make bets with family and friends.

“As the Super Bowl comes to Las Vegas for the first time, this year’s record interest in wagering marks a full circle moment for the U.S. gaming industry,” AGA president and CEO Bill Miller said. “Our priority remains getting this opportunity right by providing the consumer protections only a regulated market can guarantee and investing in responsible gambling tools, safeguards, and education.”

Compared to last year’s Super Bowl, which saw total bets of $16 billion, this year’s event represents a 44 percent increase in total bets.

AGA conducted a survey between January 30 and February 1 on 2,204 respondents. The survey included various types of betting, including legal sports betting apps, retail sportsbooks, illegal betting sites and casual bets made among friends and colleagues.

The surge in Super Bowl betting comes as no surprise, given that sports betting is currently legal in 38 states, with a population of 164 million people, or 67 percent of the United States population.

Another factor contributing to the significant increase in betting for the Super Bowl this year is the expanded advertising efforts by sportsbooks, which now include partnerships with professional sports teams, stadiums, and even leagues.

Betting ads

Betting ads appear before and during the Super Bowl. However, the NFL has limited the number of sports betting ads that will show during the game to one per quarter.

This year, there are only three ads related to sports betting aired before and during the Super Bowl, fewer than the slots allowed by the NFL. One reason for this might be the expensive cost of ads. A 30-second ad during the Super Bowl costs $7 million.

For regulators and the audience, the number of sports betting ads is a cause for concern. David Highhill, general manager for sports betting in the NFL, admitted that there were times when the NFL was held accountable for ads that did not run during games but aired on sports programming on TV or sports radio.

This has prompted the legal sports betting industry to promote the message of “responsible gaming.” According to the AGA, 75 percent of traditional bettors in the Super Bowl have seen at least one message about responsible gambling this year. Unfortunately, there is not enough data to determine if the responsible gambling message is resonating with gamblers.

There are many things to wager on in this year’s Super Bowl, from the outcome of the match to the number of appearances by Taylor Swift on the telecast, given that the pop star is dating Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce.

However, Mitchell Drossman, national director of wealth planning strategies at Bank of America, cautioned that no matter how much someone wins, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will take notice.

“The IRS is your silent partner when it comes to anything you win,” Drossman said.

Drossman also points out that bets exceeding $5,000 could automatically involve tax withholding. He reminds that reporting all winnings to the IRS is mandatory, as all winnings are considered income.

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