Feb 6, 2024 - Business

Sports betting and Swifties converge on the Super Bowl

Illustration of a stack of hundred dollar bills underneath a football field.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

This year's Super Bowl will likely smash records for sports betting — thanks in part to Taylor Swift.

The big picture: Roughly 68 million Americans will likely bet on Sunday's game, the AP reports, citing industry estimates. They're expected to wager $23 billion.

  • Both of those figures would far exceed last year's record-setting Super Bowl action.
  • "There's a good chance that every Super Bowl for the next ten or so years will be the most bet Super Bowl thanks to the underlying growth of regulated sports betting in the U.S.," gambling analyst Chris Grove told the AP.

Between the lines: Sports betting is exploding in popularity in the U.S. It's now legal in 38 states, and online sportsbooks offer lucrative bonuses to entice new customers.

  • A perfect storm of cultural factors will also help drive interest in this year's game. It's a matchup between two powerhouse teams with big fan bases and a rematch of the 2020 Super Bowl. The game will be in Las Vegas, the gambling capital of the U.S.

And then there's Taylor Swift.

  • "There's little doubt that sportsbooks will be seeing Swifties sign up that otherwise would not have given sports betting a second thought," Grove told the AP.
  • The mere possibility of Swift's attendance — she's dating Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, if you hadn't heard — will all but surely drive more people to watch the game.

Some sportsbooks are even offering Taylor-specific bets.

  • That type of wager isn't legal in the U.S., but international betting sides are running wild.
  • Users of FanDuel Canada can bet on whether Kelce will propose to Swift at the game (70% of bettors say "yes," according to Reuters).
  • BetUS, which is actually based in Costa Rica, offers prop bets on whether the couple will announce that Swift is pregnant (for which there's no evidence); how many times the broadcast will cut away to a shot of her; and whether the game's MVP will mention her in his speech.
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