Gambling Frenzy for 2024’s Super Bowl Predicted to be a New Record High

By: Yosef Scher  |  February 19, 2024

By Yosef Scher, Senior Science and Technology Editor

In recent decades, sports betting has surged in popularity, with 38 states legalizing traditional sports betting and 30 allowing online platforms. While many events entice people to wager their money, none captivates the nation’s betting frenzy quite like the Super Bowl. This year will be no different, with projections suggesting that sixty-eight million Americans plan to wager approximately twenty-three billion dollars––a staggering 35% increase from last year’s Super Bowl. This unexpected increase begs the question of what factors are driving this year’s heightened betting.

The first reason analysts believe there is an uptick in sports betting is because of the unique rematch of these two teams. Three years ago, the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV. While the Chiefs won the game by a score of 31-20, the teams were neck-and-neck for most of the game until the Chiefs took a last-minute 11-point lead over the 49ers. This year, football fanatics believe that the game will be even more exciting than it was in 2019, with recent polls predicting a rallying victory for the 49ers. In short, a rematch of this kind has not been seen in quite some time and will be instrumental in drawing in more viewers and bettors alike.

Secondly, analysts believe the choice of location at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada, is also impacting the record-breaking Super Bowl betting surge. As one of the most popular gambling destinations for people to visit, the nation’s betting capital profits around $8.3 billion each year from the casinos alone. With the addition of the Super Bowl being played in Las Vegas, analysts “expect the festivities in Las Vegas to have a ripple effect across the country and entice more fans to place bets than in years past with the microscope of media and advertising on Vegas culture.”

Finally, the high-profile romance between Taylor Swift, the world-renowned music artist, and Travis Kelce, the Chiefs’ tight end, has added an extra component to the heightened gambling at this year’s Super Bowl. Since Swift and Kelce started dating in September 2023, Swift has attended many of Kelce’s games in support of him and the Chiefs. While the NFL and television broadcasts would not typically care about the relationship of a player, “[Swift’s] presence at Chiefs games has increased viewership, particularly among young women and Gen Z. Swift fans aren’t just watching, they’re buying NFL merch and posting about the Chiefs.” The NFL hasn’t been the only one that has benefitted from the Swift-Kelce romance. Sports betting platforms have capitalized on this celebrity relationship by offering proposition bets, which are bets about the game unrelated to its outcome, that focus on Swift. BetOnline, an online gambling platform, told NPR that it has made a concerted effort to “come up with the biggest menu of Taylor Swift prop bets in the world,” including the color shirt Swift will be wearing to the game, the lipstick shade she will be putting on, and how many times Swift will be shown in the stands. 

The unique circumstances of this year’s Super Bowl are predicted to set a record for the most money gambled on a Super Bowl in history. The noteworthy rematch of the two teams, the location of where the Super Bowl is being held, and the Swift-Kelce romance are predicted to cause one in four Americans to gamble some amount of money on the Super Bowl. While the outcomes of the bets are unpredictable, one thing is for sure: sports betting is here to stay and will only increase in the coming years.