Nevada Sportsbooks Generated Lower-Than-Expected Revenues for Super Bowl 49

Nevada sportsbooks had their lowest Super Bowl winnings in four years, due to the closeness of this year’s game. Acording to the Nevada Gaming Control Board, Nevada’s 187 sportsbooks only generated $3.26 million collectively on $115.9 million of action. That number represents only 2.8% of the cash wagered on Super Bowl 49.

In comparison, the casino earnings for Super Bowl 48 between the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos had $19.6 million out of $119.4 million wagered. The reason for the smaller winnings this year was the close result of the game. The New England Patriots defeated the Seattle Seahawks 28-24.

2011 Super Bowl: Packers Versus Steelers

The 2015 Super Bowl winnings were the lowest since the 2011 Super Bowl, when the wild card Green Bay Packers defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers, who had won the Super Bowl just two years prior and twice within the previous 5 seasons.

Both totals exceeded the 2008 Super Bowl numbers, when Nevada bookmakers took a total loss of 2.8% of what was wagered. In 2008, the 18-0 New England Patriots were defeated by the New York Giants, in one of the biggest upsets in Super Bowl history.

2nd-Highest Wager Amount since 2006

Despite the lower earnings this year, the 2015 Super Bowl betting represented the second-highest total wagers in the past 10 years. The $115.9 million wagered was second only to last year’s $119.4 million wagered.

Even though the NFL faced the most controversial season its seen since the last major labor dispute in 1987, the NFL remains, by far, the most popular major American sports league. In many ways, the NFL has had a pristine image in the sports media, despite the violence of the sports and their selfish disregard of the health issues related to concussions. All of that came crashing down in 2014, when the league’s seeming dismissal of the domestic abuse issue alienated millions of fans.

Commissioner Roger Goodell’s reaction–and sometimes overreaction–to fan dissent led to even more scrutiny and criticism. One might have thought those off-field issues might have led to on-field or on-air consequences, but not so. Though the bookmakers did not see many profits from the 2015 Super Bowl, it was not because of a lack of fan interest. The Super Bowl had plenty of betting action, but it was a hard game to predict.

Super Bowl LIX: The Game Itself

While this year’s Super Bowl was not the windfall the state’s 191 sportsbooks hoped it would be, fans got all they asked for. The Patriots and the Seahawks entered the game as their respective conferences’ #1 seeds.

No clear favorite existed on paper. Neither team was the sentimental favorite, either. While the Seahawks were the brash defending champions, they were seen by many Americans as obnoxious, due to their in-your-face self-promotion and Marshawn Lynch’s surliness to the press. The Patriots are hardly a loveable group, due to the dour Bill Belichick at command and the Deflategate Scandal, which focused on whether Tom Brady received an advantage from having less-than-regulation footballs.

Why Not Run Marshawn Lynch?

In the end, the game came down to a 2nd-and-1 call at the Patriots’ 1-yard line. Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell chose to throw the ball instead of Marshawn Lynch, because match-ups dictated that call. Russell Wilson’s throw was intercepted, sealing the win for the Patriots with 0:20 seconds left.

After the game, millions of people debated the question of why the Seahawks didn’t run the ball. Some focused on the match-ups, in which the Patriots had a goal line defense versus the Seahawks’ 3-wide receiver set. Others discussed Marshawn Lynch’s surprisingly poor totals this year from the 1-yard line. Still others discussed the lack of execution on the play, pointing to mistakes by Russell Wilson, Ricardo Lockette, and Jermaine Kearse. A great many dismissed the interception as a great defensive play by the Patriots rookie cornerback, Malcolm Bishop.

The fact is, the Seahawks chose to send on their 3-wide receiver set, so they dictated the match-up. That decision by Pete Carroll and Darrell Bevell cost the team their best chance at winning the Super Bowl, and ultimately a repeat as Super Bowl champions. The Seahawks got cute with their play-calling, which cost a lot of American gamblers money. That decision ultimately cost 191 Nevada sportsbooks a lot of money, too.

About Cliff Spiller

Cliff Spiller has been an online writer for 14 years. He worked for Small World Marketing for a decade, where he covered topics like gaming, sports, movies, and how-to guides. Since 2014, he has blogged about US and international gambling news on,, and

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