bettingroundup020819 Betting roundup

New Jersey takes loss on Super Bowl bets; Chiefs open as favorites to win ’20 Super Bowl

New Jersey sportsbooks took a loss on the Super Bowl.

The first Super Bowl with legalized sports betting in New Jersey was likely one Garden State bookmakers will want to forget.

New Jersey sportsbooks lost a net $4.5 million on the New England Patriots’ 13-3 win over the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII, according to numbers released Monday by the Division of Gaming Enforcement.

Just under $35 million was bet on the Super Bowl at New Jersey sportsbooks, which opened for business for the first time last summer at casinos and racetracks. In their first six months operating, New Jersey books accepted more than a $1 billion in bets and won a net $72 million, but Sunday didn’t go their way.

DraftKings said it took 300,000 bets on the Super Bowl and ended up suffering a loss of “just over seven figures” on the game. FanDuel, SugarHouse and William Hill’s New Jersey sportsbooks also reported losses on the Super Bowl, while online book BetStars told ESPN that it won on the game.

“If our customers are winning, we’re winning,” a DraftKings spokesman said regarding the loss.

The Kansas City Chiefs have emerged as the early favorite to win the Super Bowl next season.

The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook opened odds to win Super Bowl LIV in early January. The Chiefs had the second-best odds at 7-1, with the Rams as the favorite at 6-1. However, in the weeks since, Kansas City has shifted to the 6-1 favorite there and at multiple other Las Vegas sportsbooks.

New England, Los Angeles and the New Orleans Saints have the second-best odds at 8-1 at Westgate. No other team has odds in the single digits.

ESPN published a feature article on the history of the Westgate Las Vegas SuperContest.

The simplicity is the allure. Graham beat 1,853 contestants that season, and every year social media juices the growth of the SuperContest even more. As the competition expands, it naturally gets harder to win: While Graham bet correctly on 65 percent of his picks, SuperContest winners are increasingly finishing above 70 percent. That’s unbelievably accurate for Vegas, where a bettor generally needs to hit 52.3 percent to make money above the standard vig (the amount charged by a bookmaker to take a bet), and the pros have a good year if they beat the house 55 percent of the time.

So how exactly did an underground contest among Vegas insiders become a million-dollar national sensation, one where a new wave of bettors, far from the Strip, take home quit-your-day-job money? The SuperContest’s rise is not just a matter of luck and timing but also a reflection of the people who created and play this super-rich, super-tense, super-fun competition.

The Washington D.C. City Council approved a sole-source contract for online sports betting in the district.

The bill, which passed 7 to 6, would allow the city to suspend competitive bidding rules and allow Greece-based Intralot, which already has the contract to operate the D.C. Lottery, to manage online sports gambling and related services. Lawmakers have to approve it a second time before it can head to the desk of Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D), who supports the measure.

D.C. Chief Financial Officer Jeffrey DeWitt said a sole-source contract is preferred because under the normal procurement process, it would take more than two years to launch mobile sports betting and the city would forgo an estimated $61 million in revenue as a result of the delay.

But the city has a competitive bidding process for a reason, critics say, adding that it is designed to make sure that taxpayers get the best deal and that contracts are not steered to politically connected vendors.

Council member Jack Evans (D-Ward 2), who championed sports betting and the sole-source contract, insisted that any money saved by competitive bidding would be offset by the revenue lost while companies compete for the contract.

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Each Friday, we’ll comb through as many articles, tweets and podcasts as we can find related to the world of sports betting and daily fantasy sports, and publish the good stuff here. 

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