PA Sports Bettors Beat Books For $3.3 Million On Super Bowl

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The Super Bowl turned out to be anything but super for Pennsylvania’s sportsbooks.

The combined online and retail sites lost $3.3 million to gamblers from a handle of $30.7 million on Sunday’s game, according to figures released Tuesday morning by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

Bettors were invested in the Chiefs

The press release did not delve into reasons for the sportsbooks’ losses, but it was well-known before the game that bettors in Pennsylvania and many other states were heavily on the side of the Kansas City Chiefs. As a 1.5-point favorite, they came from behind to beat the San Francisco 49ers, 31-20.

It’s also possible that many incentives offered by the eight online sportsbooks to entice action on the game could have factored into their losses.

The Super Bowl online handle was $24 million, with revenue loss of $2.8 million.

At a dozen retail locations, the handle was $6.7 million, with losses of $450,894.

Things were apparently similar for operators in New Jersey. There were initial reports (not confirmed yet officially by the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement) that they lost $4.3 million to players on handle of $54.2 million.

The PA gaming board said almost 200,000 persons logged into online sites to scout out Super Bowl wagers, or about twice what would be normal for an NFL Sunday.

Photo by Kyle Terada / USA Today Sports

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Gary Rotstein

Gary is a longtime journalist, having spent three decades covering gambling, state government, and other issues for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, in addition to stints as managing editor of the Bedford (Pa.) Gazette and as a reporter for United Press International and the Middletown (Conn.) Press.

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