Study: AGA says 22.7 million Americans will bet on the Super Bowl, most illegallyHoward Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports · January 28, 2019 at 8:00 amBy the American Gaming Association’s math, roughly 22.7 million Americans plan to wager on this year’s Super Bowl between the Los Angeles Rams and the New England Patriots.The problem is the bulk of those placing a bet – or several – will do so illegally through a bookie or online through an offshore sports book.Notwithstanding the fact that eight states now offer legal sports betting at casinos and racetracks, and that up to a dozen more are considering legislation that will legalize the activity, the AGA said Monday that it remains concerned that the vast majority of the estimated $6 billion that will be wagered on the game will be done so illegally.AGA CEO Bill Miller said interest in legal sports betting has never been higher in the U.S.“More Americans than ever before will be able to place their bets with legal sportsbooks, generating valuable tax revenue for state, local and tribal governments and increasing fan engagement with the game,” Miller said.However, the results of a survey conducted by Morning Consult for the Washington D.C. based group signals there is still a viable “dangerous, illegal sports betting market” in the U.S.The ruling last year by the U.S. Supreme Court that threw out the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act paved the way for Delaware, New Jersey, Mississippi, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island to pass laws legalizing and regulating sports betting. A tribal casino in New Mexico was also allowed by the state to open a sports book.These seven states now join Nevada in offering legal sports gambling operations.Miller, who took over as the head of the AGA earlier this month, said the survey results show efforts are still needed to expand legal sports wagering into additional states.“It is more important than ever for jurisdictions to enact sound policies that provide a safe, legal alternative with protections for the nearly 23 million Americans who will place a bet on the big game,” Miller said.Last year in Nevada, Super Bowl LII attracted a record $158.5 million in wagers on the game and hundreds of proposition bets according to the Gaming Control Board. Sports book operators are convinced that gambling on Super Bowl LIII in Nevada will exceed 2018’s numbers. According to the Control Board, wagering in Nevada on the Super Bowl has increased in nine out of the last 10 years.VSiN is projecting the total amount of money wagered on the Super Bowl nationwide legally will double from last year, to around $320 million, including Nevada’s total along with the seven new sports betting states.In September, the AGA released a study by Nielson Sports showing the NFL’s annual revenue could increase by as much as $2.3 billion annually from legalized sports betting, largely due to increased fan engagement.Earlier this month, the NFL announced a multi-year sponsorship deal between the National Football League and casino giant Caesars Entertainment in which the casino company became the league’s initial Official Casino Sponsor. The agreement, which focuses on the gaming resort company providing “unique experiences for NFL fans,” concentrates on the non-gaming attractions found in the company’s network of casino properties.Caesars has nearly 40 properties in 13 states under the Caesars, Harrah’s, Horseshoe and Bally’s brands. Seven NFL teams – Atlanta Falcons, Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears, Indianapolis Colts, New Orleans Saints, Oakland Raiders and Philadelphia Eagles – already have marketing relationships with Caesars properties.“These partnerships, along with the new league deal, are for the casino category only and do not include sports betting, daily fantasy or hotels/resorts,” according to a statement from Caesars and the NFL.The NFL has long been opposed to any relationships with gambling, especially sports betting. After the Supreme Court ruling, the NFL has sought to either slow the expansion or seek some type payment for use of official league data.However, cracks in the wall between the NFL and gaming began in September when the Dallas Cowboys and the WinStar World Casino in Oklahoma – operated by the Chickasaw Nation Tribe – announced a partnership deal. A similar deal was announced a few months later between MGM Resorts International and the New York Jets.Howard Stutz is the executive editor of CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.