Record-Breaking Bets On Super Bowl 2024
According to the gambling industry’s National Trade Association, nearly 68 million American adults (about 1 in 4) bet on last night’s Super Bowl LVIII (58), setting an all-time record by an incredibly wide margin.
In a report released days before the big game, the American Gaming Association tallied bets made by legal outlets, illegal bookies, and online bets outside the U.S. and found that bettors planned to wager roughly $23.1 billion on the Super Bowl; nearly $16 billion higher than last year.
Of this year’s record-breaking bets, only $1.5 billion is estimated to have been placed legally. This means that nearly 95% of all bets made on last night’s game came from illegal or unregulated outlets.
“There’s a good chance that every Super Bowl for the next ten or so years will be the most bet Super Bowl thanks to the underlying growth of regulated sports betting in the U.S.,” said gambling analyst Chris Grove, a partner at Eilers & Krejcik Gaming.
Currently, sports betting is legal in 38 states and Washington, D.C.
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Not All Bettors Were Winners
Last night’s game was unique for a number of reasons. Super Bowl 58 became just the second game to be sent into overtime, and the Kansas City Chiefs became back-to-back Super Bowl champions, something only 9 other teams have done in NFL history. It was also a unique night for the sports betting agencies, who saw their second-ever loss since Nevada began tracking performances on the Super Bowl in 1991.
The agencies, also called “the books,” operate like the house in a casino. Typically, the house or the books come out on top, making phrases like “the house always wins” commonplace among bettors.
However, sportsbooks reportedly lost out last night, with BetMGM’s senior trader Tristan Davis revealing they were betting on the 49ers to win.
“It was a bad Super Bowl for the sportsbook. Many bettors had the Chiefs winning and overs on popular player props,” said Davis.
The Truth About Sports Betting Losses
While sportsbooks reported losses last night, so too did millions of people, many of whom don’t have the ability to absorb massive betting losses. While many headlines were quick to point out massive 7 figure betting losses, millions of others wagered much smaller, yet still significant, amounts and lost.
For many, sports betting is a casual affair often used to insight harmless rivalry between friends. However, sports betting can become compulsive for some, and the need to gamble larger and larger amounts can lead to real financial hardships, especially after a loss.
When faced with a substantial gambling loss, gamblers often react with panic, attempting anything to recover the money lost. The stress of debt drives them to pursue their losses, inadvertently sinking further into addiction and financial turmoil. This vicious cycle is what is known as “chasing losses” and is what drives many compulsive gamblers into addiction, financial debt, and other hardships.
For some, Super Bowl 58 may have been a wake-up call of sorts. While many made out big on last night’s overtime win, for others, the upset came with major financial loss. For those, reflecting on their relationship with sports betting can be an eye-opening experience.
Signs Of A Sports Betting Addiction
In cases of sports betting addiction, also known as gambling addiction or compulsive gambling, individuals may exhibit a diverse range of symptoms. Identifying these signs can be challenging, given the elusive nature of behavioral addictions.
Sports betting addiction can look different from person to person. Some people may exhibit many outward symptoms, while others may become more reserved. With that said, there are some symptoms typically observed in someone who struggles with problematic sports betting. These include:
- Needing to bet with increasing amounts of money to feel the same level of excitement
- Trying to control or cut back on gambling with no success
- Feeling anxious, irritable, restless, or sad when not betting
- Becoming distant from friends or family
- Constantly thinking about gambling or ways to gamble when not gambling
- Getting into debt
- Betting in order to recover losses
- Lying to cover up gambling losses
- Asking others for financial support to help cover betting losses
It’s important to note that placing bets on the Super Bowl in and of itself does not constitute a sports betting addiction. However, when some or all of these symptoms are present, it could be a sign that your gambling has become problematic.
Coping With Gambling Losses And Next Steps
Coping with any kind of stress can be difficult, especially when finances are involved. Sports betting addiction can become an all-encompassing addiction, taking over a person’s life. The need to continue gambling, chase losses, or gamble increasing amounts of money can spiral out of control quickly, leading to financial hardship, mental illness, relationship issues, and more.
Learning new coping mechanisms for stressful events like gambling losses can be hard. Ultimately, if sports betting becomes uncontrollable, the solution should be to quit gambling altogether.
Therapy and other treatment modalities like inpatient treatment have been shown to have success in treating people with gambling addiction. These, coupled with other lifestyle changes like regular exercise or meditation, can help you learn new ways to deal with stress and triggers that may otherwise cause you to gamble.
If you or someone you know is struggling with a sports betting addiction, don’t wait to get the help you deserve. For more information on treatment options, check out your online therapy options today.
Zachary Pottle earned his B.A. in Professional Writing from Saint Leo University and has over three years of journalistic experience. His passion for writing has led him to a career in journalism, where he specializes in writing about stories in the pain management and healthcare industry. His main goal as a writer is to bring readers accurate, trustworthy content that serve as useful resources for bettering their lives or the lives of those around them.
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