The winner of the fourth Super Bowl hosted in Arizona was the Kansas City Chiefs, though the host state came out on top as well.
Arizona was the lone state in the country to see its sports betting handle increase, month-over-month, from January to February — with sportsbooks experiencing a 3.1% jump in wagers during the second month of the year.
In total, Arizona sportsbooks took in $609,278,096 in wagers during February, which was the state’s fourth largest monthly handle out of 18 months of reporting, and the most since November’s $616.8 million.
Brendan Bussmann, who serves as the managing partner of gaming consultant firm B Global, said Arizona’s gains in February speak to the intrinsic connection between the NFL and sports betting.
“Major events like the Super Bowl will further add volume into the game experience as people are engaged in the atmosphere,” Bussmann told BetArizona.com. “There is nothing that can take away that live game experience. The numbers show that in Arizona and likely will continue to show that as sports betting happens across the country around these large scale sporting events.”
The First, But Certainly Not The Last
Arizona’s lead as the first state with legal sports betting to host the Big Game paves the way for the epicenter of American wagering, Las Vegas, to host next year’s Super Bowl.
Come 2024, when Allegiant Stadium gets its first crack at the biggest sporting event in America, the city and state of Nevada will have a blueprint to build off of, thanks to the success Arizona sports betting apps found during Super Bowl LVII, Bussmann said.
“It’s another reason why Nevada needs to make changes to allow full mobile registration,” Bussmann said. “They are leaving money on the table for events like F1 and the Super Bowl. See the February numbers in Arizona as reference.”
What February Report Says About State Market
Daniel McIntosh, who serves as a teaching associate professor at Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business, told BetArizona.com the trends surrounding Arizona’s February sports betting revenue report show how strong the state’s wagering market is at the moment.
McIntosh highlighted the fact Arizona’s 23.9% year-over-year increase in wagering handle during the second month of the year produced a lower sports betting hold than in 2022, despite the state generating a 166.1% year-over-year increase in wagering taxes (from $604,825 in 2022 to $1,609,580 in 2023).
State sportsbooks paid out $573.278 million in winnings to customers in February, while giving out Arizona sports betting promo codes that produced $17.782 million in free bets.
“What I’m seeing that wasn’t mentioned is that the hold percentage for the Super Bowl months tends to be pretty low (less than 5.5%) but the free bets were nearly identical the last four months (3%),” McIntosh said. “I’m not quite sure what’s driving that low hold as the sportsbooks actually did well with the Chiefs [who were the betting underdog] winning.”
McIntosh also said the state’s lack of retail wagering handle ($3.354 million, compared to $4.757 million in January and $3.590 million in February 2022) shows how dominant Arizona’s mobile sportsbooks were and how mobile-centric the state’s market is currently.
“I also looked at the retail values and they were down from January which seemed odd,” McIntosh said. “I guess the ‘where’ for where people were wagering wasn’t at the retail locations with mobile attracting the visitors.”
Regardless of where Arizona bettors placed their bets — from BetMGM Sportsbook Arizona in the shadow of State Farm Stadium or with FanDuel Sportsbook’s market-leading online app — the impact of the Super Bowl in a legal sports betting state was as advertised.