The sports world takes note this Sunday to see if Tom Brady can defy age and lead his team to a sixth Lombardi Trophy, or if the young high-octane Los Angeles Rams will upset the machine that is the New England Patriots.
But on another level, many will be watching as Super Bowl LII becomes the first in which an NFL season featured West Virginia sports betting and expanded wagering across the country.
Gamblers across the state now have the opportunity to bet on the winner, over/under, prop bets, and any other wager that had previously only been available in the state of Nevada.
Super Bowl likely to boost WV sports betting
Luckily for West Virginians, betting on the Super Bowl is legal. WV sportsbooks are busy preparing for the big day with most of them hosting Super Bowl parties with special promotions. No doubt, Super Bowl Sunday will be one of the busiest days for WV books.
There are six betting options in the Mountain State:
- Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races
- Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack and Resort
- The Casino Club at The Greenbrier
- Mardi Gras Casino and Resort
- Wheeling Island Hotel
- BetLucky Sportsbook (mobile sports betting app)
The American Gaming Association is predicting big numbers this year for the big game. It estimates 10 percent of Americans will bet on the game in some form for a whopping $6 billion worth of bets on the game.
Those statistics include bets placed both legally and illegally. It also includes betting action online, with a bookie, at a casino sportsbook, in an “office pool” or football squares contest, or casually with a friend.
The study, released on Jan 22., doesn’t estimate what portion of that is bet in legal sportsbooks but estimates 1.8 million Americans plan to bet through an illegal bookie. That total doesn’t account for millions of more gamblers willing to wager using unlicensed and unregulated offshore sportsbooks online.
The message is pretty clear – Americans love to gamble on the Super Bowl. And most Americans will – whether they live in a legal jurisdiction or not.
Sports betting is a growing industry in WV and across the nation
The growth of and interest in sports betting appear to be in a fevered pace with more states either legalizing sports betting or in the process of drafting legislation. The AGA notes that this new environment offers states added tax revenue on an activity that studies show people will bet in even if it is illegal.
AGA President and CEO Bill Miller said.
“The interest in legal, regulated sports betting in the United States has never been higher. More Americans than ever before will be able to place their bets with legal sportsbooks now operating in eight states, generating valuable revenue for state, local, and tribal governments and increasing fan engagement with the game.”
While many see the growth of legalized sports betting moving in the right direction, Miller believes too many Americans are using unregulated overseas sites, and that continued legalization will temper those activities
“These results, however, also point to the continued viability of the dangerous, illegal sports betting market in America. It is more important than ever for jurisdictions to enact sound policies that provide a safe, legal alternative with protections for the nearly 23 million Americans who will place a bet on the big game.”
Betting the Super Bowl in West Virginia
Fortunately for gamblers in West Virginia, they don’t have to go the underground route. Sports betting has been legal in the state since August of 2018.
Currently, at most sportsbooks around the country, the Patriots are favored over the Rams by 2.5 points as of Tuesday with the over/under set at 56.5.
BetLucky, currently the only WV mobile sports betting app, is offering the following lines on Sunday’s big game:
Against the Spread:
- Patriots -3
- Rams +3
Over/Under – 57
Team to Score First
- Patriots -120
- Rams -110
Team to Score Last
- Patriots -115
- Rams -115
Coin Toss (-105 Heads or Tails)