Despite our continuing gut-curdling economic crisis, through it all, Las Vegas sports betting operations have remained strong, resilient, and, some say, even recession-proof. It remains one of our few local business saviors. Gaming wagering profits accruing from the Super Bowl plays a crucial and pivotal role in our continued success.
Last year’s hotly contested forty-second Super Bowl match up between the New York Giants and New England Patriots lost $2.6 million when pooling the net results accruing the from the total $92.1 million wagered at Nevada’s 174 sports books. Ely Manning’s Giants, who closed wagering as 12-point underdogs, managed to upset Tom Brady’s Patriots, 17-3.
But that was only the second time in 18 years that Nevada sports books lost on Super Bowl wagering.
Looking back just a year earlier, a Super Bowl 2006 record draw of $94.5 million was wagered in Nevada, when the Pittsburgh Steelers were the victors against the Seattle Seahawks, 21-10.
Even with our nation’s economic collapse, this year’s February 1 contest at Tampa, Florida between the debutante, Cinderella-team Arizona Cardinals and the 900-lb gorilla on the block, Pittsburgh Steelers (six Super Bowls, with five wins) has, and is, drawing strong bettor interest. Will David – reincarnated as the Cardinal’s Kurt Warner, with two Super Bowls and one win as a St. Louis Ram quarterback under his belt, pull off the ultimate coup and slay the Pittsburgh Goliath?
The Steelers start as a 7-point favorite from most Las Vegas gaming venues and oddsmakers. But most analysts this year doubt they will write over $100 million. MGM Mirage sports book director Jay Rood, mirroring the majority sentiment of his peers, anticipates more wagering support for the Steelers, adding the take when all is done and said will probably fall somewhere between $85 million and $95 million.
Hoping to dramatically boost this year’s gaming revenues, many gaming analysts predict a dramatic rise in the team, game, and player “prop” (proposition wagers) offerings. They are rolling out many of enticing wager opportunities, ranging from the common, to the offbeat: Will either team score three consecutive times without the other team scoring? Will either team score in the final two minutes of the first half? Or one can bet on Kurt Warner’s and Ben Roethlisberger’s pass attempts and passing yards. And bettors can lay their money down on Edgerrin James’ and Willie Parker’s rushing yards.
Is Las Vegas sports betting really recession-proof? Many hopes and dreams – Las Vegas’ very economic survival – are riding high on this year’s Super Bowl revenue results.