Super Bowl LVIII Helping Las Vegas Grow as a Sports (Betting) Giant

Grant Mitchell
By:
Grant Mitchell
01/02/2024
Industry
Mobile Casino Chips & Cards

Highlights

  • Las Vegas acquired a number of franchises and major sports events recently
  • Nevada sportsbooks handled more than $150 million in Super Bowl bets last year
  • The AGA estimated more than 50 million Americans bet on last Super Bowl

As the NFL regular season enters its final week and the Super Bowl approaches, the city of Las Vegas is poised to strengthen its claim as the gambling capital of the world.

Nevada's largest city has long been the epicenter for high-roller wagering and lavish festivities. However, its multi-layered commitment to growing its sports culture has put it in a powerful position amid the dominant rise of American legal sports betting.

With just over a month until the Super Bowl kicks off, Vegas is on the brink of taking another step toward becoming not just the national go-to for gambling, but also for sports entertainment.

Making headway 

Super Bowl LVIII will be held in Allegiant Stadium in Vegas on Feb. 11, 2024. It will mark the first time the NFL’s championship event is played in Nevada but will also be the third straight year the game has been played in the West, following Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles, California and Super Bowl LVII in Phoenix, Arizona.

Vegas’ steady transformation into a sports town has covered many leagues and events. 

The Las Vegas Golden Knights were added to the NHL as an expansion team in June 2016 and played their first season during their 2017-18 campaign. 

The WNBA’s San Antonio Stars also rebranded to the Las Vegas Aces in 2018. It did not take long for them to become a hit, as they are the defending back-to-back league champions.

In November, the MLB approved the Oakland Athletics' decision to move out of California and into a new home also in Vegas in 2028. The team’s new ballpark will rest on the Tropicana’s property right on the Vegas strip, giving locals a near-full-time attraction during baseball season. 

The Oakland Raiders also gave up their California residency to move to southern Nevada in 2020. According to Forbes, they sold 94.1% and 95.5% of home tickets during their first and second non-COVID seasons, respectively.

Los Angeles Lakers megastar LeBron James has been very outspoken about his desire to bring an NBA franchise to Vegas as well.

“LeBron James is not just talking about being a part of an ownership group that brings the NBA to Las Vegas," ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski said. “He has been active behind the scenes and on a regular basis now in meetings with his advisors and planning about what a franchise would look like, how an organization would run, and then, obviously, the finances.”

Stealing the show 

In addition to the influx of local teams, Vegas is also going out of its way to fund and house marquee events. 

The NCAA brought March Madness to Vegas during the Sweet 16 for the first time in spring 2023. That’s part of a planned build-up that will culminate in the Final Four and championship game coming to Vegas in 2028. 

There had been concern that the crossover of student-athletes and gambling would be problematic during the single-elimination tournament. However, the city’s booming tourism industry, local attractions, and general atmosphere ultimately offered too sweet an opportunity to pass up.

F1 also hosted the inaugural Vegas Grand Prix late last year. Ticket packages that included luxury resort stays and special privileges went for millions of dollars, and the event went down as a major success. 

With all that said, NFL betting is king in America. And across all major sports, there is no bigger event than the Super Bowl. 

Last year, the American Gaming Association estimated that more than 50 million people would bet on the big game. 

Nevada sportsbooks took more than $150 million in bets by themselves and are expected to be even busier now that the match will be inside state lines.

The national handle is also expected to increase significantly—not just because of the rising popularity of sports betting, but because states such as Kentucky and Massachusetts launched local betting markets after last year’s Super Bowl.

The San Francisco 49ers (+210) are the odds-on favorites to win the Super Bowl per FanDuel Sportsbook. Just behind them are the Baltimore Ravens (+350), followed by the Dallas Cowboys (+850), Kansas City Chiefs (+950), Buffalo Bills (+950), Philadelphia Eagles (+1200), and others.

Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself in his up-to-the-minute reporting on the latest events in the industry. A member of Virginia Tech’s 2021 graduating class, he has quickly put together an impressive portfolio since moving to the professional world full-time. Grant’s favorite sports to cover are basketball and both types of football (American and soccer), and he is pushing written, audio, and video content. He has been employed by companies as highly regarded as Forbes and continues on a great trajectory in the industry. When he’s not on the clock, you can find Grant at the gym, looking for adventures, or hanging out with his family.