More Sports / Football

Vegas sportsbooks make Patriots 2 ½-point favorites for Super Bowl LIII

AP

Thousands of football fans from around the country converge at Las Vegas casinos every February to place their bets on the Super Bowl’s winner, MVP, first touchdown scorer and hundreds of other outcomes. They cheer, boo and hold their breath as they watch every moment of the game at sportsbooks, VIP parties and other gatherings.

If they’re lucky, they then get in long lines to cash out.

That enthusiasm is worth hundreds of millions of dollars to Las Vegas, and for the first time Sunday, it will face legal competition outside Nevada as casinos in seven more states have opened sportsbooks since the U.S. Supreme Court issued a relevant ruling in May. But the race for the betting dollars is not worrying officials or casino operators. This Super Bowl, they say, will be business as usual.

Tourism officials expected 306,000 people to travel to Las Vegas for Super Bowl weekend, with a projected economic impact of $426 million.

Gamblers wagered a record $158.6 million on the big game at Nevada’s nearly 200 sportsbooks last year, over $20.1 million more than in 2017.

MGM Resorts anticipates the majority of its Las Vegas Strip properties will be sold out.

MGM and the Westgate Las Vegas casino-hotel had the Patriots as 2½-point favorite Thursday.