By Henry Middleton
The state of Nevada pulled in its second-largest Super Bowl win ever last Sunday, according to the Nevada gaming control board.
On a day where bettors wagered a total of $154.7 million on the Chiefs-Niners at sportsbooks around the state, the house walked away with a collective profit of $18.7 million.
There’s a reason they say “the house always wins,” and that’s because the house always wins.
The $18.7 million take was the second-biggest Super Bowl win ever for casinos in Nevada, surpassed only by the $19.7 million that sportsbooks around the state collectively won in February 2014 when the Seahawks beat the Broncos 43-8 in Super Bowl XLVIII.
The $154.7 million handle for 49ers-Chiefs was the second-highest collective total ever wagered on a Super Bowl in the state of Nevada. The only other Super Bowl with a higher number came in February 2018 when bettors wagered a total of $158.6 million on the game between the Eagles-Patriots in Super Bowl LI. Although that game had the highest betting total, sportsbooks only walked away with a $1.2 million profit that year.
One reason Nevada was so successful this year is because of its proximity to San Francisco. Caesars Entertainment sportsbook director Bill Sattler told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that Niners fans were flocking to Nevada, especially casinos in the northern part of the state, to place money line bets on their hometown team.
“It was our best scenario,” Sattler said. “We were real heavy on the Niners money line and a lot of it was from Lake Tahoe.”
Tahoe is just a three-and-a-half hour drive from the Bay Area, making it an easy place to gamble for 49ers fans who wanted to bet on the game.
The other reason Vegas did well is because the under hit. The over/under opened at 52.5 beforeby eager bettors who thought we might see a shootout in the Super Bowl. The over was a popular bet that ended up losing, as the game total hit just 51 points.
Vegas also won when Patrick Mahomes decided to get a little crazy with his kneel downs. The Chiefs quarterback lost 15 yards on Kansas City’s final three plays of the game, which brought his rushing total down to 29 yards for the game. That was a big dealthat Mahomes would rush for more than 30 yards in the game, which is a number he had hit easily before the three kneel downs.
“That was close to a six-figure swing [in favor of the house],” Jeff Davis, director of trading for Caesars, told ESPN.com.
Although it might seem like the house always wins, there was one time when it did lose. Since 2000, the sportsbooks in Nevada have lost money on just one Super Bowl, and that came more than a decade ago. Back in February 2008, Nevada casinos lost $2.57 million when the 12-point underdog New York Giants upset the undefeated Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.
The success in Nevada this year didn’t translate to other parts of the country. Sportsbooks in New Jersey loston Super Bowl Sunday.