One of the biggest sporting events in the world is set to kick off this Sunday around 6:30 p.m. Eastern, wherein the New England Patriots will face off against the Los Angeles Rams. While the matchup between these two teams is for all the marbles, there is a lot more at stake, say, $6 billion that the American public is wagering.
According to a survey by the American Gaming Association (AGA), about 22.7 million US adults plan to bet on the upcoming contest in Atlanta, and they are expected to wager $6 billion on the game. This is an increase of 26% from last year, when the total wagered was $4.76 billion. Although, 2017’s numbers were only a 1% increase from the previous year.
Much of this year’s increase can be attributed to a jump in the number of states offering legal sports betting. There are eight of them for this Super Bowl, compared with one a year ago. This is in part thanks to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the past year that more or less lets states decide for themselves how they should handle sports betting.
Last year, illegal betting made up 97% of Super Bowl wagers. However, the AGA did not release those numbers for this year.
As for the actual outcome of the game, most Americans are going with the Rams to win the big game, by 52%, AGA said, while 48% are picking the Pats.