The American Gaming Association said Tuesday that it expects to see a large decrease in sports betting for Super Bowl LV due to "pandemic-led restrictions." File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
Feb. 2 (UPI) -- A significant decrease in bets is expected for Super Bowl LV compared to last year's NFL finale because of COVID-19 restrictions, according to data released Tuesday by the American Gaming Association.
The association said in a news release that a record 7.6 million people will use online sportsbooks this year, but its research found that 23.2 million Americans plan to bet $4.3 billion on the game on Sunday between the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Last year, the association said an estimated 26 million Americans would bet about $6.8 billion on Super Bowl LIV.
"An expected overall drop in overall Super Bowl betting is almost entirely caused by pandemic-led restrictions, with the largest declines anticipated for retail sportsbooks and casual bets, like pools or squares, that are made in social settings," the association said.
This year, the association said 36 million more Americans than last year will be able to safely bet in legal markets.
"This year's Super Bowl is expected to generate the largest single-event legal handle in American sports betting history," said Bill Miller, the president and CEO of the association.
"With a robust legal market, Americans are abandoning illegal bookies and taking their action into the regulated marketplace in record numbers."
About 1.4 million Americans plan to bet in-person at a sportsbook, a decrease of 61% from last year. The amount of bettors who plan to place bets with bookies (1.8 million) also is down 21% from 2020. About 4.5 million Americans plan to place a pool, squares or similar bet, down 19% from last year.
The amount of bettors expected to make wagers with friends also is down 18%. Sports betting is legal in 25 states and Washington, D.C., with 21 of those markets operational.
The Chiefs are 3.5-point favorites to beat the Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV. The association said 56% of bettors plan to bet on the Chiefs to win.
Super Bowl LV kicks off at 6:30 p.m. EST on Sunday in Tampa, Fla.
With trophy in hand, Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians speaks during the NFC Championship celebration at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis., on Sunday. The Bucs defeated the Green Bay Packers 31-26 to win the NFC Championship. Photo by Mark Black/UPI | License Photo