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Nevada Super Bowl Handle Experiences Substantial Drop From 2020

James Murphy
by in NFL on
  • Nevada’s Super Bowl LV handle was $136,096,460 with hold percentage of 9.2% good for $12,574,125 in profit.
  • This number was down substantially from 2020 when $154.6 million was wagered on the Super Bowl in Nevada.
  • It is the lowest Super Bowl handle in Nevada since 2016.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board has released wagering figures for Super Bowl LV and they’re subject to a lot of interpretation and analysis. First, the hard data: Nevada’s Super Bowl LV handle was $136,096,460 with hold percentage of 9.2% good for $12,574,125 in profit. The hold percentage was the fourth highest in the last decade.

The revenue was a substantial drop from 2020 when $154.6 million was wagered on the Super Bowl in Nevada. The house cleaned up as Kansas City beat San Francisco 31-20 earning $18.7 million for a 12.1% hold percentage. It was the lowest Super Bowl revenue since 2016 when $132.5 million was wagered on Denver’s 24-10 win over Carolina. That year also had a strong hold percentage at 10.1% for $13.3 million in profit. The all time record for Super Bowl handle came in 2108 when $158.5 million was bet on Philadelphia’s 41-33 win over the New England Patriots. Despite the massive handle that year books scrapped out only a small profit of $1.1 million for a hold percentage of 0.7%.

Here’s the revenue data for the last 10 Super Bowls courtesy of the Nevada Gaming Control Board:

Given the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Nevada’s tourism centric economy the results have to be viewed as more good than bad. William Hill sportsbook director Nick Bogdanovich told that Las Vegas Review-Journal that had there been no COVID-19 the state would have broken the all time record for Super Bowl handle:

“If there was no COVID, we would’ve broke the all-time record. People love coming to the Super Bowl parties here in Nevada. COVID knocked it out. It’s that simple.”

Perhaps the most positive takeaway from Nevada’s Super Bowl handle is its strength relative to New Jersey’s booming mobile based sports betting scene. The Garden State did $117.4 million in action for profits of $11.3 million representing a 9.6% hold.

There’s a lot to unpack about the Super Bowl betting numbers but it’s definitely worth noting that despite what looks to be a very attractive matchup between the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs and the ageless Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers the interest just wasn’t there–at least in terms of television viewership. Super Bowl LV attracted only 96.4 million, the lowest viewership since 2007.

Super Bowl LV attracted 96.4 million viewers for ViacomCBS on Sunday, the company announced Tuesday, as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Kansas City Chiefs, 31-9. It’s the lowest watched Super Bowl since 2007, when the Indianapolis Colts played the Chicago Bears, another CBS broadcast. That game attracted 93.1 million viewers, according to Octagon’s media division data provided to CNBC.

Research firm Nielsen, which handles TV viewership data responded on Monday afternoon to inquires about the delay in releasing the information. In a statement to Deadline, a spokesperson said the metrics would include out of home (OOH) numbers. Those numbers represent TVs in places like bars and restaurants and augment viewership data for the NFL.

CBS did set a new record for streaming viewership despite some problems with their app:

Even though the overall viewership totals were a disappointment, CBS did tout growth in internet streaming of the Super Bowl. The company said the stream averaged 5.7 million viewers per minute. The game streamed through CBS’s All Access service. Later this year, All Access will change to Paramount+, ViacomCBS’s new streaming service that is designed to take on leaders like Netflix and Disney+.

That’s likely a reflection of the ‘new normal’ in TV viewership habits and has little to do with the game itself. As streaming viewership becomes an even greater percentage of the audience you can expect a new streaming record to be set for every Super Bowl for the foreseeable future.

Dan Cohen, senior vice president of Octagon’s global media rights consulting division, pointed out to CNBC that the fact the game got played at all is something of an accomplishment:

“All things considered, the fact this game got played is nothing short of a miracle. And the fact that you had Brady and Mahomes in the storylines going into it was the NFL’s greatest dream.”

We’ll do a deeper dive into the Super Bowl betting revenue data over the next few days. Stay tuned.

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