Super Bowl Stadium Football

Workers prepare the field outside Allegiant Stadium ahead of Super Bowl 58, Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2024, in Las Vegas. AP Photo/Matt York

Maine is coming off its best month of revenue since sports betting was launched in November, and now the state is anticipating a boost from the biggest wagering event of the year.

Sunday will mark Maine’s first Super Bowl since sports betting went live on Nov. 3. When the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs meet for the NFL title, bettors within the state will be able to bet legally for the first time on Super Bowl point spreads, over-and-unders, and all the prop and in-game bets. Billions of dollars will be wagered nationally.

“It wouldn’t be shocking to see the Super Bowl carry February to potentially being the biggest month of the year,” said John Holden, an Oklahoma State University professor who’s written extensively on the regulation of sports gambling.

Maine heads into Super Sunday riding the momentum of three months that, according to state Gambling Control Board chair Steven Silver, have been a good start for sports betting. With November, December and January in the books, Maine has pulled in revenue of over $1.4 million. January was the biggest month of the three, with the state earning $546,149 in revenue.

Maine keeps 10% in tax from all wagers placed on sports betting, following payouts to bettors and federal tax.

“Three months in, the initial marketing pushes have gotten the customers in and used to the app,” Silver said. “All in all, (January) was a good month for the books and the state, and it meets projections of that roughly $500,000 a month in tax revenue.”


DraftKings, one of two mobile sports-betting providers in the state along with Caesars Sportsbook, has continued to dominate the action. Of all the money wagered in Maine over three months, 81.5% has been bet via DraftKings.

“Maybe that will change by a few percentage points, but I think they’re always going to be the majority player in Maine,” Silver said.

The amounts wagered during Maine’s first three months were similar to the same three months after New Hampshire launched sports betting in 2020. New Hampshire went from a $38.9 million handle (the total amount of money wagered) in November 2020 to $43.7 million in December and $49.4 million in January 2021. Maine went from $37.6 million in November to $44.5 million in December and $38.1 million in January.

But New Hampshire, now four years into sports betting, saw its handle pass $67 million in both in November and December 2024.

“The primary reason for growth is tied to the expansion of betting opportunities,” said Daniel Maloney, the director of sports betting for the New Hampshire Lottery. “Simply put, players have more options for betting now. For example, same-game parlay bets and live betting during games are betting opportunities that were not available at launch. There really is something for everyone now.”

In Maine, December was the lowest month in terms of state revenue at $437,884, which came despite the handle increasing nearly $7 million from November to December.


“That happens,” Silver said. “The bettors win. … There are some weekends or some days where the (sports books lose). Effectively, the sports books in the state are gambling. … You have to go back and look at how did the home teams do in the playoffs, did the favorites win, things like that. When you have a bunch like that happening, you can get lopsided results.”

Silver said a similar dynamic could be at play Sunday.

“The question is, where is the money? Is it on the Chiefs or on the 49ers?” he said. “Because if it’s not balanced, you might see a loss on Super Bowl Sunday for the (sports books). That’s a real possibility.”

Betting on the Super Bowl is expected to increase significantly from just last year. According to the American Gaming Association, 67.8 million Americans are expected to bet on the game this year, an increase of 35% from 2023, and the total amount bet is expected to rise from $16 billion to $23.1 billion. Legal sports betting is now available to bettors in 29 states and Washington, D.C., with Vermont being the latest to go live, on Jan. 11.

“We’re seeing an increased interest as legalized sports betting has grown,” said Cait DeBaun, the AGA’s vice president of strategic communications and responsibility. “There’s a lot of excitement about that. The growth of the market is really driven by the migration of Americans from the illegal marketplace to the legal marketplace.”

The practice of betting on the Super Bowl has changed. While bets originally were limited to winners and losers and covering spreads, innovations in mobile betting have led to the popularity of bets within the game, independent of the game’s outcome.


“The increased use of technology through mobile betting has really allowed for a dynamic experience for customers,” DeBaun said. “Now with the online options, there’s a lot more prop bets involved. Who’s going to score the first touchdown? How many yards might Travis Kelce rack up? It makes the game more engaging for a lot of people that choose to bet.”

Holden, the Oklahoma State professor, said prop bets have become embraced by the betting industry in recent years.

“As we’ve seen sports betting expand, some regulators now allow wagering on the color of Gatorade. At one time, that was only something that you would find offshore,” Holden said. “In Nevada, the fear was always that someone could get that information perhaps too easily. … We’re seeing a lot more in-game props being offered. Back when it was really just Nevada, we didn’t see a ton of the in-game offerings that you now see have become standard across games. In the Super Bowl, you can basically bet on any in-game event.”

Holden, however, said that the most popular bets remain the traditional ones.

“When you’re looking at the total amount of money, you’re still seeing spread and moneyline bets as king here,” he said.

Spread bets are bets in which, after a favorite is picked to beat an underdog, a bettor wagers on either the favorite to win by that many points or more, or the underdog to lose by fewer points or win. Moneyline bets indicate how much the bettor has to place on either team to win another amount. If a team is favored at -150, a bettor would have to bet $150 to win $100, for a $250 total payout.


Mobile betting remains the only sports betting option in Maine. None of the retail locations have opened yet for sports wagering.

“Everyone was so anxious and excited to get going, and now it’s sort of hit a wall,” Silver said. “There’s no regulatory reason why they’re not open yet. It’s up to the owners.”

The online market is far more lucrative than in-person betting. Bets placed on mobile apps accounted for 87% of all sports bets placed nationwide in 2021, according to the American Gaming Association.

Don Barberino, owner of Favorites off-track betting locations in Waterville and Sanford, said he’s hoping to launch sports betting “within the next six months.”

“Retail is only about 10% of the (total sports-wagering) business. For many of the large companies that provide sports wagering services, it’s difficult for them to come in and just have retail only,” he said. “What they project as potential revenue is not what they hope for. So we haven’t moved along as quickly as we’d hoped there.”

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