The 2018 Super Bowl is fast-approaching, and a new report estimates that Americans will wager $4.76 billion on the big game.
Interestingly, sports betting is currently only legal in the state of Nevada and only about 3% of that $4.76 billion will actually be wagered in the state. Rather, many of the bets will be made with local bookmakers and offshore books, according to ESPN.
The Supreme Court, however, is preparing to release a ruling regarding sports betting that could potentially legalize it outside of Nevada.
Geoff Freeman, the president and CEO of the American Gaming Association, released a statement on the Super Bowl betting estimate, saying, "Thanks to the failed federal ban on sports betting, Americans are sending billions of their hard-earned dollars to corner bookies, shady offshore operators and other criminal enterprises."
Freeman then added that "the big question" that the American Gaming Association is asking now is, "Is 2018 finally the year when governments, sporting bodies and the gaming industry work together to put the illegal sports betting market out of business?"
Last year, gamblers bet a record $138.4 million on the Super Bowl face-off between the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons.
Bookmakers have reportedly said that they are already on track to far-exceed that amount this year.
"I think we're going to easily surpass last year's record," said Jay Kornegay, the vice president of race and sports at the Westgate SuperBook. "The economy is strong, and the popularity of these two teams will match any other matchup."
We can confirm that the Super Bowl festivities will kick-off Sunday, Feb. 4, 6:30 p.m. ET on NBC. The match is between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots, who have won the championship five times since 2002 and are the current reigning champs.
The Patriots are reportedly the favorite to win with a 4.5-point betting lead, but the majority of the wagering has been on the Eagles.
New England has played in a total of seven Super Bowl games in the past 16 years and they have only lost twice. Both times it was to the New York Giants, in 2008 and again in 2012.
Back in 2005, the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots faced off against one another in this very same match, with the Patriots emerging victorious.