Las Vegas wins again.
More money was bet in Nevada on Super Bowl 50 than any other Super Bowl, multiple sportsbooks told ESPN on Sunday.
The books kept plenty of it.
"We had a really good Super Bowl," Ed Salmons of the Westgate SuperBook said. "No complaints here. The handle was the most we've ever had, and the win was really good."
MGM and Station Casinos also reported record handle. Caesars said it won "over a million" across the company, and CG Technology, the Stratosphere and William Hill sportsbooks all had a winning Super Bowl.
The Denver Broncos' 24-10 upset of the Carolina Panthers wasn't the best-case scenario for the books, but it was a profitable one. But it cost some bettors dearly. William Hill took a $623,142.25 money-line bet on the Panthers, and the sportsbook at the Flamingo took a $300,000 money-line bet on the Panthers. Still, there was plenty of money on the champion Broncos to even out the action.
To start last week, 86 percent of the money wagered on the spread at CG Technology was on the Panthers. But a rush of respected money poured in on Denver on Wednesday. The Bronco money continued into the weekend and left most books with balanced action. At kickoff Sunday at CG Technology, 51 percent of the money on the spread was on the Panthers, with less than a $50,000 difference between the two teams.
"There was way more money on the 'dog than I expected," Station Casinos vice president of race and sports Art Manteris said. "I just did not see it coming because for a week and a half, it was nonexistent. Then, when it started, it was like the dam burst."
Carolina closed as a consensus five-point favorite, with the over/under closing at 43.5 at most shops. The Panthers winning but not covering the spread would have been the best-case scenario for the books. For a while, with Carolina down 16-10 and driving in the fourth quarter, several bookmakers said they were dreaming of a 17-16 final score. They settled for the Denver straight-up upset in a game that stayed under the total.
"It's a good day, but kind of disappointing," MGM vice president of race and sports Jay Rood said Sunday. "We had the fastball to hit the grand slam, and we whiffed on it. [It] kind of feels like an opportunity wasted. 17-16 [Carolina] would have been perfect."
Denver defensive end Von Miller's winning Super Bowl MVP was a boon for bettors. Miller opened as high as 60-1 and was bet all the way down to 15-1 at the MGM. Rood said it cost his shop six figures. It was the first year Nevada books had been allowed to take bets on the Super Bowl MVP.
"We'll have to book that for 10 more years before we get any ROI on that," Rood said.
Denver's fourth-quarter two-point conversion didn't help the books' bottom line, either. At William Hill, 96 percent of the bets on the proposition "Will there be a successful two-point conversion?" were on "Yes."
The books reportedly will be able to remain open, though.
"Business is healthy," William Hill director of trading Nick Bogdanovich said.
"It's a good day, but kind of disappointing. We had the fastball to hit the grand slam, and we whiffed on it. [It] kind of feels like an opportunity wasted. 17-16 [Carolina] would have been perfect." MGM vice president of race and sports Jay Rood
The Nevada Gaming Control Board will release official betting numbers Monday. Estimates on how much was wagered on the Super Bowl statewide ranged from $120 million to $130 million. Since the NGC began tracking revenue numbers for the Super Bowl in 1991, the books are up $134.2 million. Their only losses came in 2008, when the New York Giants upset the New England Patriots, and 1995, when the San Francisco 49ers routed the San Diego Chargers.
The state's books won $3.2 million on last year's Super Bowl between the Patriots and Seattle Seahawks. The earnings from this year's game are expected to be significantly larger.