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November 24, 2014

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Fans bet record $119 million on Super Bowl at Nevada casinos

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Steve Marcus

Gamblers wait in line to place bets after Super Bowl XLVIII proposition bets were posted at the Las Vegas Hotel Superbook Thursday Jan. 23, 2014.

Updated Monday, Feb. 3, 2014 | 4:19 p.m.

Super Bowl 48

Seattle Seahawks' Michael Robinson tries to get past Denver Broncos' Paris Lenon during the first half of the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Ben Margot) Launch slideshow »

Sports fans bet a record $119.4 million at Nevada casinos on the Super Bowl.

Unaudited tallies showed sportsbooks made an unprecedented profit of $19.7 million on the action, the Gaming Control Board said. That's more than the past three Super Bowl wins combined.

The Denver Broncos started out as a 2.5-point favorite, but the Seattle Seahawks won 43-8.

Oddsmakers said Peyton Manning fans drove the unprecedented handle, flooding Las Vegas and northern Nevada with wagers on the favored team and its veteran quarterback, who was named the NFL's Most Valuable Player for the 2013 season the day before the game. Many believed Manning was primed for a big game after his record-setting year.

The previous record for the amount of bets placed, or the handle, was set last year, when gamblers wagered $98.9 million on the Super Bowl between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers.

The last record for casino hold, or profit, was set in 2005, when sportsbooks won $15.4 million.

Some oddsmakers said they lost out on proposition bets, including whether a safety would be the first score of the game. Casinos paid out at 8-to-1 for the safety. Fans who bet that the first score would be on a safety cashed in at 60-to-1.

Still, casinos retained an average of 16.5 percent of the millions wagered, far more than the average hold during the past decade.

The 51 points scored in New Jersey exceeded the over/under of 47.5.

Nevada sportsbooks have lost only twice on the Super Bowl in the past 20 years, most recently in 2008, when the New York Giants beat the New England Patriots, costing casinos a record $2.6 million.

Meanwhile, sports betting has become increasingly popular, with the handle increasing during nine of the past 10 years in Nevada. Football is consistently the most popular sport to put money on, and the Super Bowl is the most important day of a sportsbook's year.

Oddsmakers released numbers for next year's Super Bowl before fans even had time to stumble back to their hotel rooms Sunday night.

Nevada Sports Book Performance for past 10 Super Bowls

Year Wagers Win/(Loss) Win % Game Results
2014 $119,400,822 $19,673,960 16.5% Seattle 43, Denver 8
2013 $98,936,798 $7,206,460 7.3% Baltimore 34, San Francisco 31
2012 $93,899,840 $5,064,470 5.4% N.Y. Giants 21, New England 17
2011 $87,491,098 $724,176 0.8% Green Bay 31, Pittsburgh 25
2010 $82,726,367 $6,857,101 8.3% New Orleans 31, Indianapolis 17
2009 $81,514,748 $6,678,044 8.2% Pittsburgh 27, Arizona 23
2008 $92,055,833 $(2,573,103) -2.8% N.Y. Giants 17, New England 14
2007 $93,067,358 $12,930,175 13.9% Indianapolis 29, Chicago 17
2006 $8,828,431 $6,857,101 9.3% Pittsburgh 21, Seattle 10
2005 $90,759,236 $15,430,138 17.0% New England 24, Philadelphia 21

Source: State Gaming Control Board

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