Nevada bookmakers appear to have squeaked by with an overall profit on the 2018 Super Bowl, but Philadelphia’s upset win and some deep losses on proposition bets within the game made this a bettor’s year.
According to the Associated Press, some sportsbooks reported six- and seven-figure losses.
Gamblers did wager a record $158.6 million on the Super Bowl at Nevada’s 198 sports books, over $20.1 million more than in 2017. But unaudited tallies released Monday by the Nevada Gaming Control Board showed sports books made a profit of only about $1.2 million on the action, around $9.8 million less than in 2017 and well off the $19.7 they cleared in 2014, the AP reported.
Sports books around Las Vegas had favored the New England Patriots over the Philadelphia Eagles in the game—which the Eagles won—and set betting lines ranging between 5 and 6 1/2 points and the over/under for total points scored in the game at 48. The game saw 74 points scored.
“The game didn’t quite go exactly the way he had hoped for, but we kind of grinded out a small win on this particular event when you consider all things,” Jay Rood, head of sports betting operations for MGM Resorts International told the wire service. “When you consider us as an overall hotel-casino company, I think at the end of the day, we are going to be all right. We had thousands of people here enjoying themselves watching the game.”
There were also reports of an unnamed bettor making several seven-figure bets on the Eagles. The sports book at the Mirage, owned by MGM Resorts, took a bet for more than $2 million on the Eagles, the AP reported.
The bettor also reportedly won millions of dollars on the World Series. According to the AP, the bettor placed a $500,000 wager on the Eagles at the South Point sports book. The man also placed two bets of $1 million with William Hill, which runs more than 100 sports books in Nevada and has a mobile app.
William Hill, reported suffering a multimillion-dollar loss, with $3.2 million alone lost to the mystery bettor. The bookmaker said that based on the number of tickets, 54 percent of bettors were correct in choosing the Eagles on the point spread and 75 percent on the money line. Fifty-six percent of tickets were correct on choosing the over for the total points scored in the game, which the operator had at 49.
The American Gaming Association estimated that Americans would wager about $4.76 billion on the Super Bowl, but only 3 percent or $138.5 million would be done legally at sports books in Nevada.
Bookmakers also has a tough night for prop bets due to the large amount of offensive records set in the high scoring game.
“Well, we are a little disappointed with the bottom line,” Jay Kornegay, the sports book director of the Westgate Las Vegas told the AP. “This event is dominated by the general betting public and they always like to bet on things to happen. So, they like to bet the yeses more than the nos. They like to bet the overs more than the unders, and a lot of those come through for them. We had our worst Super Bowl prop results ever.”
An example would be a prop bet on whether the game’s MVP, Eagles quarterback Nick Foles, would score a touchdown. Foles did score a touchdown, a result that paid 8-1.
Kornegay said every single one of the players who scored a touchdown had a proposition bet on him.
“Not only did they score a touchdown, but we also had props on whether they would score in the first half,” Kornegay said. It was a double whammy for us.”