65% of bets Americans placed on the Super Bowl were illegal: Yield Sec report

February 23, 2024 1:11 PM
Photo: Shutterstock
  • Rege Behe, CDC Gaming Reports
February 23, 2024 1:11 PM

According to the American Gaming Association, approximately 68 million Americans were expected to bet on the recent Super Bowl between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers.

Story continues below

However, analysis provided by Yield Sec, a technical intelligence platform that monitors the total marketplace across online betting, gaming, and lottery activity, indicates that many bettors are still placing illegal wagers. According to a report released Friday, Yield Sec claims that nearly two-thirds of bets placed on the Feb. 11 game were illegal.

“It’s troubling to see the proximity of illegal gambling to our audiences and the core of the Super Bowl’s conversation and commerce,” said Yield Sec Founder and CEO Ismail Vali. “With illegal brands capturing nearly two-thirds of all bets on the game, the challenge of shifting control from illegal to legal operators in the online betting and gaming marketplace is more apparent.”

Yield Sec’s analysis, commissioned by the Campaign for Fairer Gambling, was designed to measure the total gambling share between legal and illegal markets.

According to the report, there were 350 million bets placed on this year’s Super Bowl — 122 million legal wagers compared to 228 illegal wagers. Total money wagered is estimated to be $5.4 billion, with $1.4 billion in legal bets and $4 billion in illegal bets. For the previous Super Bowl, Yield Sec stated there were 286 million total bets — 100 million legal and 186 million illegal, and that there was $4.5 billion wagered on the game, $1.1 billion legal and $3.4 billion illegal.

“The legal gambling sector sold lawmakers across America the mirage of the regulated market supplanting the black market,” said CFG Founder and Funder Derek Webb. “The legal gambling sector, which should be disappointed, has thus far been allergic to any and all federal involvement. We hope America’s legal gambling sector and its trade groups will reconsider and join us in calling for a federal crackdown on illegal gambling.”

Other findings include that the legal market grew by 22 million bets since 2023, with a $258 million increase in the total value of bets. Also, there were 42 million more illegal bets on Super Bowl LVIII— and $546 million more illegally wagered — than the previous year.

“Our monitoring underscores the significant growth of illegal gambling activities, which not only threatens the integrity of sports and the gambling industry but also hampers the potential for increased revenues, tax contributions, and consumer protection,” Vail said. “The data post-Super Bowl 2024 underscores the critical need for a united effort to regulate, police, and enforce the online gambling marketplace.”