Sports Gamblers Wagered a Record $132.5 Million on the Super Bowl

Super Bowl gamblers wagered $132.5 million at Nevada casinos, setting a new record for gambling action on the Super Bowl. The Denver Broncos upset the 17-1 Carolina Panthers to become World Champions. The previous record was the $119.4 million wagered on the Super Bowl in 2014, when the same Denver Broncos were blown out by the Seattle Seahawks.

The $132 million is the estimate on the unaudited figures by the 194 sports books in Las Vegas and the rest of Nevada. The hold by those casinos was $13.3 million, which represents 10.1% of the turnover. That reprents a much better result than a year ago, when the casinos made only $3.2 million between them. The all-time best is the $19.6 million won in 2014.

Broncos Versus Panthers

The match-up between the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers appeared to touch a nerve in the American people. Early estimates suggest Super Bowl 50 had the largest audience in Super Bowl history. The game pitted the NFL’s #1 rated defense in the Denver Broncos versus the #1 rated offense in the Carolina Panthers, who also boasted the #6 defense.

Peyton Manning’s Swan Song

The game featured two of the most fascinated personalities in the NFL: Cam Newton and Peyton Manning. Peyton Manning has been stalking NFL sidelines since 1998. Give his longevity and his historical levels of production, Manning has appeared in a vast number of commercials over the years. American feels like they know the man.

Many believed Super Bowl 50 was Peyton Manning’s final game. He has dealth with injuries throughout the season and is a shell of his former self. Manning has won more NFL MVP awards (5) than any player in NFL history, and was the MVP only two years ago. After the AFC Championship Game, a microphone picked up him telling Patriots’ coach Bill Belichick, a longtime adversary, this might be “his last rodeo”.

Cam Newton’s Moment in the Sun

Cam Newton was the 2015 NFL MVP. Newton is a rare talent who can stand in the pocket and make all the throws, while also running for big yards when the pocket breaks down. Many believed the Super Bowl would be his crowning moment, when he showed he had ascended to the heights of NFL skill and stardom. The Panthers Defense had been opportunistic all season, while their offense simply overwhelmed opponents.

Cam Newton’s nationwide coming out party turned into a nightmare. Not only did he looked bad, but his two fumbles were the two key plays in the game. On the second of those fumbles, Newton appeared to give up on the play to preserve his health (and later admitted as much). In the post-game press conference, he was petulant with reporters, then walked out before it was over. Such impressions are hard to live down.

In truth, neither quarterback had a particularly good Super Bowl. The Broncos set an all-time record for the lowest number of yards gained by a Super Bowl winner (194). The Panthers struggled to move the ball most of the night, while committing a number of uncharacteristic turnovers.

The Broncos pass rushers were able to do two things which often are mutually exclusive. One, they were able to get tremendous pressure on Cam Newton, delivering punishing hits, while hurrying his delivery most of the night. Two, they were able to keep Newton hemmed in, so he had no running lanes to escape the pocket and use his vaunted running ability.

Von Miller: Super Bowl 50 MVP

Von Miller and Demarcus Ware created havoc in the Panthers’ backfield, using their speed to put pressure on the MVP. Their tackles never did catch up to that speed throughout the night, while their coaches were unable to find a way to slow down the rush.

Football: A Game of Match-Ups

American football teams have a lot of moving parts. Each team has 22 starters. Therefore, American football is a game of match-ups. The Panthers have gotten ahead of opponents all year, which allows them to dictate the pace of the game. Their big offensive line in those situations can maul the other team’s defensive front on running plays. Whatever weaknesses they might have in pass protection is covered up by Newton’s mobility.

The Broncos’ defensive ends presented a unique mismatch at a point where the Panthers had one of their few weaknesses. When one team’s strength is at the other team’s weakness, a game-changing mismatch sometimes happens. In this case, there was no covering up that mismatch.

Legal Gambling in the USA

The Super Bowl annually creates a gambling frenzy in the United States. Usually, Super Bowl weekend is the time when Las Vegas Strip sportsbooks see their most action. Some economists even view Super Bowl betting as a bellweather for the economy. Thus, the betting figures are a good sign.

At the same time, the American Gaming Association estimated 97% of all the money wagered is bet through illegal gambling sources. This includes local bookies and offshore online gambling sites. The AGA estimated that $4.2 billion was wagered on the Super Bowl. Of that, $4.1 billion would have been wagered illegally.

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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