ATLANTIC CITY — Last year was more like a preseason game for the city’s retail sportsbooks, as several of the casinos were either operating temporary spaces or had yet to kick off operations.
But this year, all eight of Atlantic City’s sportsbooks are ready for prime time when Super Bowl 54 starts Sunday night.
“Atlantic City is excited to welcome all fans to come and enjoy the biggest sporting event of the year and place their bets on the big game,” said Steve Callender, president of the Casino Association of New Jersey and senior vice president of Eastern regional operations for Tropicana Atlantic City’s parent company, Eldorado Resorts.
The American Gaming Association released results from a survey that found an estimated 26 million people will place about $6.8 billion in legal wagers on Sunday’s game between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida.
According to that same survey, close to 4 million people will place a Super Bowl wager at a brick-and-mortar sportsbook, a 25% increase from last year.
“With 14 operational markets and another seven close behind, Americans have never before had so many opportunities to wager on the Super Bowl in a safe and legal manner, and clearly, they are getting in on the action,” said Bill Miller, president and CEO of the American Gaming Association. “With increased visitation to legal sportsbooks, we are successfully drawing bettors away from the predatory illegal market.”
Since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in May 2018, more than $17 billion has been legally wagered on sports, with more than $5 billion bet in New Jersey alone.
“With the proliferation of legal sports betting across the U.S., there is no doubt that this will be a record year for legal bets on the Super Bowl,” said Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for PlayUSA.com. “An interesting matchup that is nearly a pick ’em will help spur action, too. As a result, records in states such as Nevada and New Jersey, where both online and retail sports betting were legal for last year’s game, are also in jeopardy.”
Tom Gable, director of Race & Sportsbook at Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, said the biggest difference between this year and last — besides the opening of the nearly $10 million Moneyline Bar & Book — is that gamblers are more interested in proposition, or prop, bets.
Gable said 63% of tickets were on the Chiefs and 76% of moneyline and point-spread bets were on Kansas City. The spread at Borgata was Chiefs -1.5 and the total was 54 points as of Friday afternoon.