Super Bowl LVII: Could February Be Historic For Arizona Sportsbooks?

Super Bowl LVII: Could February Be Historic For Arizona Sportsbooks?
By Christopher Boan
Fact Checked by Christopher Boan

We’re less than seven days away from the kickoff of the fourth Super Bowl to be played in Arizona and the first in a state with legal sports betting.

When Kansas City and Philadelphia tangle at Glendale’s State Farm Stadium on Feb. 12, the eyes of the world will see the Valley in all its glory, while Arizona sports betting operators and state officials will witness a windfall from wagers placed on Super Bowl LVII.

 
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While oddsmakers at BetMGM Sportsbook Arizona see the Eagles as a slight betting favorite, listing them at -1.5 and -125, the bigger winner will be those that reap the benefits of Arizona’s wagering network at large.

Daniel McIntosh, who is Associate Teaching Professor at Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business, told BetArizona.com that Super Bowl LVII could further juice the Arizona sports betting apps handle in the month ahead.

“This will be the first city with legalized mobile and in-person gaming to host a Super Bowl,” McIntosh told BetArizona.com. “There will be tests of types of wagers, types of incentive offerings, types of advertisements and activations for the operators and tests for how the public reacts, either favorably or unfavorably to the increased attention given to wagering availability.”

A Valuable Addition For Super Bowl Visitors

For Ted Vogt, who serves as the Arizona Department of Gaming’s director, Super Bowl LVII (in tandem with the Waste Management Phoenix Open), provides a one-two punch that’s sure to bolster the betting handle for the second month of the year.

“With Super Bowl LVII and the Phoenix Waste Management Open on the horizon, I am excited to see how these major sports tourism events impact the state’s sports betting industry in the coming months,” Vogt said in an emailed statement to BetArizona.com.

Whether Arizona will clear its February 2022 handle of $491.665 million remains to be seen, though McIntosh thinks such an increase could happen.

McIntosh projects out-of-town visitors will chip in around $3.8 million in sports betting handle on Super Bowl Sunday, based on the American Gaming Association’s estimate of $31.4 million bet on the contest.

That boost, plus the existing year-over-year increases seen in September (+84.7% from 2021), October (+27.2% from 2021) and November (+32.1% from 2021), could result in a sizable jump in betting handle for February in Arizona, McIntosh said.  

“The interesting thing about the Super Bowl is that it attracts so many out of state visitors. The projections from our Seidman Institute show approximately 100,000 fans will travel to the event this year,” McIntosh said. “How those fans and how the local fans are segmented, targeted and marketed to will be the big learning from this year’s event.”

There will likely be plenty of Super Bowl 57 betting bonuses Arizona residents and visitors can take part in, further driving handle on the game.

 
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Where February’s Handle Could Land?

Using the 27.2% year-over-year increase witnessed in Arizona during October, plus the $3.8 million in handle out-of-town visitors would contribute, Arizona could have a February sports betting handle of $629.198 million.

That total would rank second out of 14 months of data reported by the ADG to date, behind March 2022 ($690.979 million) and ahead of October 2022 ($618.57 million).

McIntosh told BetArizona.com so-called “super events” like the Super Bowl can move the ball on a state’s monthly handle, thanks to the influx of out-of-town dollars.

“For January 2022, there was around $8.5 billion wagered based on all available state level tax figures,” McIntosh said.“There were 31 regular season NFL games and 12 playoff games in that month for 43 total games. That works out to about $200 million per game in that month. For February, just under $7 billion was wagered and there was exactly one NFL game, the Super Bowl.

“It’s not a perfect analogy because other sporting events are happening, but you can see a 35-fold increase in handle for these ‘Super Events.’ … If a casual observer were to look solely at the cumulative values, there’s a slight decrease in handle, but when looked at a per game basis, the size of the Super Bowl effect becomes much clearer.”

One way or another, McIntosh believes Super Bowl LVII will prove to be a winner for the state’s bottom-line, with so many visitors coming to Arizona and betting being a new revenue stream.

He said state sportsbooks — which generate handle in part through Arizona sportsbook promos — have lived up to the billing, revenue-wise, versus what was expected when the market launched in September 2021.

“That is new revenue that was previously going to offshore bookmakers or other shadow or rather untaxed organizations,” McIntosh said. “Now that teams, leagues and operators have found ways to monetize these interactions, the next step will be to use them to drive team allegiance.”

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Contributors

Christopher Boan is the lead writer at BetArizona.com after covering sports and sports betting in Arizona for more than seven years, including stops at ArizonaSports.com, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

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