Yesterday (11 February), the Kansas City Chiefs made history by overcoming a 10-point deficit to clinch their second consecutive Super Bowl victory in two decades.
The team secured an overtime win against the San Francisco 49ers, with a final score of 25-22, at Super Bowl LVIII held in Las Vegas.
“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 GeoComply CEO and co-founder Anna Sainsbury.
“We are proud to help foster the growth of a regulated industry that puts accountability, security and player protection at the forefront.
“Every year the legal market grows is good news for consumers and states and bad news for illegal offshore sportsbooks that become marginalised,” she added.
GeoComply analysed its data across 28 US states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico with legal online sports betting during Super Bowl LVIII weekend.
Increase in active accounts
GeoComply also reported a total of 8.5 million active accounts across legal betting states, marking a 15% increase from the previous year.
Just before kick-off, there was a massive surge in traffic, reaching a peak of 14.75 thousand transactions per second (TPS) — the highest ever recorded on GeoComply’s systems, nearly doubling the previous Super Bowl’s peak.
Leading up to the Super Bowl, more than 1.77 million new users signed up for legal online betting accounts within the two weeks prior.
Additionally, since the start of the 2023/2024 NFL Season through the Super Bowl, GeoComply customers have added more than 13.7 million new accounts, representing a significant 28% increase from the previous season.GeoComply’s platform uses more than 800 data points to accurately confirm that players are located in a state where sports betting is legal before placing a bet.
Ahead of the game, anticipation was high for record-breaking betting activity.
The American Gaming Association (AGA) expected approximately 68 million American adults, roughly one-fourth of the population, to place bets, with the total amount wagered projected to reach $23.1bn.
Hype versus reality?
Paul Leyland of Regulus Partners offered a nuanced perspective on the Super Bowl LVIII’s impact on the sports betting market ahead of the game: “We estimate that the Super Bowl LVIII will generate approximately $1bn in legal sports betting handle—an impressive number, but not one that significantly impacts the overall market, despite the hype.”
Comparing this estimate to the $23bn projected by the AGA, Leyland suggested that either high rollers prefer informal betting or expectations may be inflated.
In 2023, the total US legal sports betting handle was only around $100bn, with approximately $20bn on all NFL games, according to Leyland.
He highlighted that the revenue opportunity from the Super Bowl handle expectations ranges from 0 to $100m, which is relatively modest in the context of a US sports betting market of approximately $7bn.
Leyland also raised concerns about the maturity of the American football betting market, describing it as “hyper-mature” and indicating that this segment may not offer significant growth opportunities.
However, he noted that states like California and Texas could still impact legal sportsbooks’ performance.
He emphasised the importance of providing engaging content to mass-market US sports fans, suggesting that local horseracing, global soccer, tennis, and basketball may offer more growth potential.
“Despite the hype, Super Bowl simply demonstrates just how shallow the foundations of US sports are for sustainable betting growth,” Leyland concluded.