ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Online betting on the Super Bowl increased this year, with many players waiting until just before kickoff to place their bets, according to a company that tracks the location of players on the Internet.
Data released Monday by GeoComply shows that the number of verifications it carried out over the weekend increased by more than 22% over last year.
It processed just over 122 million checks this year in 28 of the 29 states that offer online sports betting, excluding Florida.
The company makes sure players are where they say they are before allowing their bets to be placed online, a process known as geolocation that is the basis of online betting in the US.
The data records the number of times the company was called to verify a customer’s location. It is considered a good indicator of at least a minimal level of sports betting activity, of which more than 80% takes place online in the US.
“The continued transition to the legal market set the stage for a historic first Super Bowl in Las Vegas, and the record-breaking results we saw did not disappoint,” said Anna Sainsbury, CEO and co-founder of Vancouver, Canada-based GeoComply. .
The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the San Francisco 49ers 25-22 on Sunday night to win their second consecutive NFL title.
States require a player to be physically located within their borders in order to place bets online. Geolocation technology uses a combination of mobile phone data, software, hardware and databases to determine where a phone or laptop attempting to place a bet is actually located at any given time.
While it is true that customers can log in and check their location without placing a bet, many players also place more than one bet after a single login.
During Super Bowl weekend, GeoComply recorded a total of 8.5 million active accounts, up 15% from last year’s Super Bowl.
In the two weeks leading up to the big game, the company saw more than 1.77 million new users sign up for legal online gambling accounts.
Since the start of the 2023-2024 NFL season, customers have added more than 13.7 million new accounts, a 28% increase from last season.
And as usual, many people waited until the last minute to place their bets. The company said that minutes before the start, it saw a massive increase in traffic totaling almost 15,000 transactions per second. This was the highest level ever recorded in GeoComply’s systems, nearly doubling last year’s peak.
The fact that the game went to overtime for the second time hit many sportsbooks hard, as they offered high odds that it would not happen. And many bets were on the Chiefs to win, even though the 49ers entered the game as slight favorites.
Sportsbooks suffered a multimillion-dollar loss when the game went to overtime, a popular bet that paid out about 9 to 1, said Craig Mucklow, vice president of operations at Caesars Sportsbook. He said Caesars lost seven figures on the overtime bet alone, with the average bet being $16.
Caesars fared better with player accessories, many of which did not come to fruition. That includes bets on whether top players like Travis Kelce, Isiah Pacheco, Deebo Samuel or Brandon Aiyuk would score a touchdown, which none of them did.
“It was a bad Super Bowl for the sportsbooks,” said Tristan Davis, senior trader at BetMGM. “Many bettors had the Chiefs winning and outplaying props on popular players,” referring to bets on the statistical performance of individual players.
FanDuel, the official odds provider of The Associated Press, said it took 14 million bets totaling $307 million, setting records. Those bets came from 2.5 million FanDuel customers.
DraftKings did not release figures Monday on its performance during the Super Bowl.
Several sportsbooks also issued odds for the winner of next year’s Super Bowl, with the 49ers slightly ahead of the Chiefs.
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