By Skip Charles in Vegas

More than 23 million Americans plan to wager approximately $4.3 billion on Super Bowl LV, a decrease of 37 percent from last year.

The American Gaming Association survey attributes the vast majority of the drop to pandemic-led issues leading to a decline in wagers at retail sportsbooks and social settings, such as office and square pools.

The research did find that a record 7.6 million will bet with online sportsbooks, up 63 percent from 2020. That is the result of 36 million American adults gaining access to regulated betting markets in their home states.

“This year’s Super Bowl is expected to generate the largest single-event legal handle in American sports betting history,” AGA President and CEO Bill Miller said. “With a robust legal market, Americans are abandoning illegal bookies and taking their action into the regulated marketplace in record numbers.”

Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Montana, Tennessee, Virginia and Washington, D.C. have added regulated betting markets since last year’s Super Bowl. That brings the United States total to 20 states and the District of Columbia.

The online survey of 2,198 adults was conducted on behalf of the AGA by Morning Consult. It found that 1.4 million Americans plan to bet at an in-person sportsbook, down 61 percent from last year. Meanwhile, 1.8 million Americans plan to place a bet with a bookie, down 21 percent.

A similar study last year estimated that 26 million Americans planned to wager a combined $6.8 billion on Super Bowl LIV.

Despite the significant drop overall betting, this year’s study did find that 65 percent of Americans who plan to wager on the game feel it is important to do so with a regulated sportsbook.

“This data is an encouraging sign that our efforts to ground the expansion of sports betting in responsible gaming is taking hold,” Miller said. “Responsible gaming is core to legal sports betting’s long-term success, and this is borne out by continued demand for consumer protections only available in the legal market.”

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