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Sports betting around Super Bowl 58 appears to have broken several records

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Super Bowl 58 appears to have broken sports betting records − and not just because the game was played in Las Vegas.

Amid an ongoing boon in online sports wagering, millions of football fans placed bets from their phones and laptops on the Kansas City Chiefs’ 25-22 overtime win over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday night, in addition to those who wagered in-person at sportsbooks in Las Vegas and other cities where sports gambling is now legalized.

While the specific size and scope of wagering around the Super Bowl was unclear as of Monday morning, some sports betting companies released data that points to a record amount of money changing hands because of Sunday night’s thriller.

GeoComply Solutions, a Canadian company that monitors geolocation data for several major online sportsbooks in the United States, said in a news release Monday that in the minutes before kickoff, its systems recorded “a massive spike in traffic,” with nearly 15,000 transactions per second. GeoComply, which counts DraftKings and FanDuel among its most prominent clients, said it was the highest rate of transactions it has ever recorded.

The company also noted that it saw a 15% increase in the number of active accounts that it monitored and a 22% increase in the number of geolocation checks it conducted, relative to the same time period around last year’s Super Bowl. Those figures point to a significant uptick in the number of people who placed online bets with regulated sportsbooks; GeoComply said it pulled data from 28 states, plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Thirty-eight states currently have legal sports betting markets, according to the American Gaming Association.

“The continued transition to the legal market set the stage for a historic first Super Bowl in Las Vegas, and the record-breaking results we saw did not disappoint,” said Anna Sainsbury, the chief executive officer and co-founder of GeoComply.

FanDuel said in a news release that it took $14 million bets on the Super Bowl with a total handle of $307 million, both of which are Super Bowl records for the company. Those figures also mark a whopping 40% increase from last year’s game, when FanDuel saw nearly $10 million bets worth $215 million.

DraftKings and BetMGM were among the sportsbooks that did not immediately release figures for the number of bets placed and amounts wagered on their platform during the Super Bowl, though BetMGM released data showing that most sports bettors were favoring the Chiefs. According to the company, 74% of the total handle for the game was on the Chiefs to win, as well as 63% of the bets placed.

“It was a bad Super Bowl for the sportsbook,” BetMGM senior trader Tristan Davis said in a statement provided to media outlets. “Many bettors had the Chiefs winning and overs on popular player props.”

The exact amount of money that changed hands Sunday will never be known, simply because of the different forums in which American sports fans like to bet around the Super Bowl. Sportsbooks offer bets on the final result of the game, but also the “player props” to which Davis referred − bets on whether an event will happen, like a specific player scoring a touchdown or rushing for more or less than a specific number of yards. But there’s also more casual betting that takes place every year among groups of family or friends, like Super Bowl squares.

In the leadup to Sunday’s game, the AGA conducted a survey of U.S. adults about their expected Super Bowl betting activity and estimated that 67.8 million Americans would bet roughly $23.1 billion on Super Bowl 58.

“As the Super Bowl comes to Las Vegas for the first time, this year’s record interest in wagering marks a full circle moment for the U.S. gaming industry,” AGA president and chief executive officer Bill Miller said in a statement.

Some bettors left the night happier than others. BetMGM indicated that it took at least two bets of $200,000 or more on the 49ers to win Sunday night, as well as at least one $300,000 bet on the Chiefs to win.

Caesars Sportsbook highlighted one bettor who put down $5 for what is known as a parlay bet, banking on the Los Angeles Lakers to win the NBA’s in-season tournament, the Texas Rangers to win MLB’s World Series and the Chiefs to beat the 49ers in the Super Bowl. With Sunday’s win, the bettor turned that $5 into $12,745, according to Caesars.

BetMGM was one of several major sportsbooks that is already looking ahead to next year. It lists the 49ers as favorites to win Super Bowl 59 in New Orleans, at 5-to-1 odds.

Gannett may earn revenue from sports betting operators for audience referrals to betting services. Sports betting operators have no influence over nor are any such revenues in any way dependent on or linked to the newsrooms or news coverage. Terms apply, see operator site for Terms and Conditions. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, help is available. Call the National Council on Problem Gambling 24/7 at 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ, OH), 1-800-522-4700 (CO), 1-800-BETS-OFF (IA), 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN). Must be 21 or older to gamble. Sports betting and gambling are not legal in all locations. Be sure to comply with laws applicable where you reside.

Contact Tom Schad at tschad@usatoday.com or on social media @Tom_Schad.

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