The most-watched television broadcast event of 2021 was the Super Bowl, which racked up 91.6 million views, over twice as many views as the second-highest event of the year, the NFC Championship game.
Before last year’s Super Bowl, the American Gambling Association estimated that over 7.2 million people would place bets on the biggest event in football, generating 4.3 billion dollars in wagers.
With the Cincinnati Bengals bringing a new life to Midwestern bettors in this year’s clash for the Lombardi trophy, and further legalization of sports gambling, those numbers could leap even higher this year.
Here is what a Cincinnati Super Bowl will mean for gamblers in the surrounding areas.
Breaking Down the Numbers
Last year, Illinois was the first state to report Super Bowl gambling numbers and claimed that 93.7 percent of their wagers were placed online, with $45.6 million legal bets being accounted for. This short turnaround was new for Illinois, which typically lagged behind other states in the reporting process.
Last year, Iowa enjoyed an influx in participation following the expiration of in-person registry regulations, which helped their January handle jump 42.7 percent higher than the year prior. Iowa’s sportsbooks received $16.3 million in Super Bowl bets, a number that should be on the rise once again in this Super Bowl.
Although the Bengals opened as a touchdown underdog, the spread has since moved to Bengals +4.5 as the betting public continues to favor the unlikely AFC representatives.
Whereas Kansas City Chiefs fans invaded the Illinois markets last year, thus affecting the overall hold, it would not be a shock to see Ohio and surrounding markets greatly influenced by Cincinnati’s representation in the Super Bowl.
A Historical Accomplishment
The rise of the Cincinnati Bengals from the AFC North’s bottom-feeder to the conference’s champion has been well covered. Still, their influence will only truly be felt after the conclusion of the final game of the 2022 postseason.
If there is one thing that Americans fall head over heels for, it is a good story— this is why MVP candidates need a narrative and a defining moment to go along with their individual success before claiming the award. The Bengals are the story that Americans want to get behind, and that is why they are going to generate tons of revenue on the betting markets.
The investment and partnership of companies like Fox Sports and others with betting companies also mean that, more than ever, there will be people interested in participating, if not joining, in the sports gambling scene.
Whereas sports betting used to be a $50 wager amongst friends, it is now being pushed into the households of Americans as more and more states adopt the legalization process.
Super Bowl LVI will set numerous records in the sports gambling world, and the Midwest is going to thrive regardless of whether the Bengals or the Rams are crowned victorious.