EPISODE 223 | LSR Podcast

Deep Dive Into Super Bowl 58 Projections | Sports Betting News


30 min
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Deep Dive Into Super Bowl 58 Projections | Sports Betting News | LSR Podcast 223

LSR analyst Eric Ramsey rejoins the podcast to discuss his Super Bowl revenue and handle projections throughout the legal US sports betting market. Also, a promising step forward in Georgia and one of the most notable partnerships to date, between LeBron James and DraftKings.

Full transcript

Matt Brown (00:07):

Hello, and welcome to episode number 223 of the LSR Podcast. My name is Matt Brown, joined each and every week by the brightest minds in all of the gaming industry. With me, I have Adam Candee, I have Eric Ramsey joining us here on the program this week.


We will hit on Georgia. We will hit on a deal with LeBron James in the sports betting industry. But Adam, let’s waste no time in putting Eric’s feet to the fire and talk about this giant football game. It’s big. It’s almost as if it’s super. And it is coming up pretty soon.


And listen, this is a target. When we were doing this podcast two years ago, three years ago, states would be launching and whenever they decided, OK, they passed it. We were always looking to the date because they’re like, OK, they’re going to try to get it done before the Super Bowl. And then sometimes it was before March Madness, but we were always looking to Super Bowl and March Madness when it came to launch dates and different things like that. So we’ve kind of progressed past that now, Eric. And we just start to look at, OK, we got a lot of states that are legalized. We got a lot of markets that are at least mature enough for us to kind of start to forecast and look at different things that are going to go on during the big ol’ game here in a couple of weeks. So what have you kind of put together over there at LSR?

Eric Ramsey (01:24):

Yeah it is – first of all, I’m just realizing now that I’m the nerd, the numbers nerd now that you guys call upon when there’s something nerdy to talk about. So I guess that’s the role I’ve fallen into, but –

Matt Brown (01:33):

Hey, you said it, not us. All right, that’s all I’m saying. You said it not us.

Super Bowl revenue and handle projections

Eric Ramsey (01:37):

To that point. I am irrationally excited by this time of year because like you said, the Super Bowl is sort of the chance we get to, it’s a mile marker right in the year. It’s a time when everyone is competing for the same sort of customers and over the same game. We get to sort of pit states against each other and see how they’ve been stacking up over the past year, and we generally see that Super Bowl handle is sort of proportional to the way states have gone throughout the year. Nevada, of course, the big exception to that as the capital of Super Bowl betting still might be the fourth largest, fourth or fifth largest market in the country but still dominates Super Bowl handle. It will once again be responsible for most of the Super Bowl volume this year. This is interesting running the model, the number comes out to about $1.3 billion this year, which is up from about $1.1 billion last year total across the US so about a 20% increase.


I have Nevada accounting for close to $170 million of that. That’s going to be down just a little bit from their all-time high of about $180 million in 2022. More on that in just a second. New York should have no trouble finishing in second place, well over a hundred million as well. New Jersey historically is right around that a hundred million number also, so that should be the top three states. Gets a little cloudier below that. I think among this top three, it’s a little tough to suss out where Nevada goes. It’s cooled off a little bit as sports betting has expanded elsewhere. This year wasn’t great just because of the expansion around the country, but the Super Bowl is coming to Las Vegas this year, and it’s a little hard to know exactly what that will yield in terms of what the impact will be on the betting handle.


My hunch as I’ve thought about this over the last couple of days is that I’m probably undershooting Nevada a little bit. I think there’s a real good chance we break that 2022 record, maybe even closing on $200 million in Nevada alone. I’m really sort of thinking about the casino VIPs that are coming to town. I think that’s the question mark in my mind is how valuable are the casino whales? The customers that are coming in to gamble in the pits and stay in the suites and go to the game and eat the nicest steaks? Are they going to be padding the sportsbooks’ numbers this coming weekend as well? So that’s a big question mark for me. And then as far as questions go, Florida is another big one. We don’t have any data from this young Florida market, and it is of the size that it could really make a big impact on Super Bowl handle as a whole.


I have it close to a hundred million, fourth place sort of in a group of states with Pennsylvania and Illinois. It’s really anybody’s guess that might be a little optimistic for Florida. But overall looking at another single event record for sporting events in the United States, and once again, Nevada should pretty easily be the capital of Super Bowl betting again.

Matt Brown (04:34):

Adam, I know that the Las Vegas airport private runway is already sold out. There will be no more jets that can get in over there. It’s already sold out. The Henderson apparently only has a couple of slots left. They actually put it out there like, hey, by the way, we’ve only got a couple of slots left, so if you need to park your jet you better get on it. So it is already full here for sure. One of the other things that I do think is interesting, both of you guys having spent time in Nevada, I wonder about numbers because everything is available much, much earlier now in Nevada, whereas in years past we know it was this big thing where the props didn’t drop until the middle of this. Like today would’ve been the big prop drop and everyone would be lining up at the books and all this.


Well with Caesars going to rest-of-country app, with MGM going to rest-of-country app, with Stations, oddly enough, going to an app that actually has a pretty large menu, and of course Boyd already being on the kind of the FanDuel back end a little bit there, not quite all the markets that they offer. But with all that Adam, I do wonder if that plays a role here because it forced the hand of some of the other legacy books. Like Circa has up lines and stuff now that they wouldn’t have normally had up this early, and some of the other books around town that have had to kind of go in and make sure that they’re keeping up with the Joneses here. I don’t know if that will really, really affect handle, but it certainly couldn’t hurt and certainly the fact that people coming from other states that have bank accounts, I mean have bankrolls at MGM, at Caesars, will be able to just seamlessly come into Nevada and just bet.

Adam Candee (06:18):

Prop it like it’s hot, prop it like it’s hot, if a book try to get at you, prop it like it’s hot.


That’s how I feel about this … not really. Nevada, when it comes to the rest of the country apps having the influence, I do question a little bit of where that action will come from, right? Are the really sharp groups that are in Nevada, how much will they be able to get down on those props in terms of them being up earlier? We know that for the most part the NFL world and the casino world isn’t going to show up in Vegas until this coming weekend is over. Probably Super Bowl week will be when it becomes a bigger thing for Las Vegas.


I do think it’s great for guys like you to be able to have that option when you’ve been working on a limited scale for as long as you have. The question that I have when it comes to Nevada, and not just Eric’s Super Bowl forecast, but anyone who tries to forecast what the state will do is something that goes back to a conversation that I had with a very smart person who works in revenue analysis in Nevada probably four-ish years ago now even before the Super Bowl was announced. And the conversation he and I had was is it actually a good thing for Las Vegas to host the Super Bowl? Because it’s already a Super Bowl destination without all of the exorbitant room rates and all of the NFL taking over as much as it does of the city.


I kind of wonder in some ways there are going to be some people who show up who wouldn’t show up otherwise, but are you going to see some of the major players who might otherwise want to come to Vegas for the Super Bowl and be like, yeah, I don’t need to deal with all that, I don’t need all of what is going to be a more restricted Strip in the end, just based on the amount of corporate events going on and et cetera, et cetera. I might be galaxy-braining this and overthinking it a little bit in the end, but I just think there are so many interesting factors to try to play in when it comes to what the Super Bowl handle will look like in Nevada, not the least of which Matt and Eric is what we’ve talked about with the fact that DraftKings and FanDuel are not available in Nevada and are you going to have people who would be large players on those apps, they’re going to get their wagers in before they leave their home states and come to Vegas? They’re going to be betting with a different account when they’re here? I don’t know exactly what it’ll be, but it’s fascinating to watch.

Matt Brown (08:51):

Yeah, Eric, I’m glad you mentioned Florida because talking to and working in the industry as long as I have, I know Florida has always been a very big hotbed of getting the whales and getting the people who like to spend money out of town that weekend and into states. It used to be there would be the private jets from the casinos going back and forth between Florida and Nevada and then now when New Jersey launched, there was a lot of that funneling those guys up to Jersey up into New York like, hey, we’ll come down, we’ll pick you up, we’ll put you all the stuff like that. So I don’t know if that will materially change because look, people still like to be wined and dined and made to feel special and stuff, but some of those people are going to stay, some of those people aren’t going to leave, and I think that that is pretty interesting to see what Florida does bring to the table here in their first year of us being able to kind of track this stuff.

Eric Ramsey (09:43):

Of the people that arrive to the Super Bowl in their private jets, you’d assume on a year-to-year basis, a lot of them come from Florida, right? That’s an area where we’d expect a lot of the wealthier gambling clientele to live, and we see that evidenced in some of the retail casino data there from the Hard Rock properties.


Florida, let me tell you, I’ve asked everybody I can to try to give me some sense of what’s happening there from a numerical standpoint, some sense of scale, and there is just no data available to provide any sort of context. So really shooting in the dark here, but I think honestly the forecast we have on LSR close to $90 million is a little bit conservative. It’s below the per capita output of most states, even young states. Just real quick, some per capita numbers, Ohio and New York around $7.50 per adult. Florida, I have forecasted at $4. So that feels pretty conservative. I know it’s first year, it’s a single operator market, but there is no question that within a year or two, Florida will be among the very top echelon of legalized markets despite its limited implementation.

Matt Brown (10:57):

And Adam, we talked about this when Florida first launched and one of the things I’m actually more interested in than anything else is the screenshots that we will inevitably get as to what type of action they’re willing to take because we saw they were taking bets like first half bets that even in Nevada at the books that will take the most action, you’d have to go talk to someone behind the counter before they would do that. They were taking this stuff over the app, so it’ll be interesting to me to see just what type of action they are willing to take over there in Florida because at least early signs showed us that they were willing to take some stuff and they were willing to take some risks.

Adam Candee (11:37):

Conversely, we’ve seen a little bit of chatter in the sports betting Twitter world of late of bets that were voided by Hard Rock as well. And so this is the sort of interesting question. When you have a single-operator market in one of the largest markets that is possible in the United States, what is Hard Rock willing to do? And as Eric mentioned, because of the setup the way that it is through the Seminole Tribe, we are not getting the same reports that we would in other states. They’re not required to disclose it the way that other operators are in, or I should say other regulators are in other states. So I don’t really know what it’ll look like in the long run. To Eric’s point, I was actually one of the voices when we were talking about Florida who said I would be a little bit more conservative on the Florida forecast because of the fact that this market is so young, because of the fact that the demographics in Florida are more snowbird than they would be in other places as well, which doesn’t necessarily lend itself to big gambling on sports.


So Florida is a fascinating, fascinating case and we’re not really going to get as much information as we’d like, right? We’re going to have to kind of extrapolate it from looking at other places and looking at past years.

Matt Brown (12:58):

Yeah, I am really, really interested in that to see how that all plays out with everything. And look, we know Nevada will win with California. There will still be tons of Californians that come over; that happens every single year. I do wonder, I imagine Nevada wins with Texas as well. I can’t imagine the guys in Texas deciding to hang out and go over to Louisiana to make the bets, or I imagine, I imagine Nevada wins out with that, but where those Florida people go now that it’s an option and all that is going to be something I’m super interested in. We’ll have Eric back on whenever we finally get some of the reports coming out of the Super Bowl and let everybody know just what we found out or at least what we think we found out somewhere along the way.

A promising step forward in Georgia


Adam, let’s head over to the Peach State here, and it is a state that you and I have talked about a couple of different times here where we were wondering if anything was actually ever going to get done over there, and out of nowhere, maybe?

Adam Candee (13:54):

I will tell everyone interested in this story that you have more reason for hope than you have in the past. Does that mean that Georgia is necessarily going to pass? I really don’t know. Here’s what we do have. Today … recording this on Thursday as my coffeemaker decides to let everybody know that it’s not going to be –

Matt Brown (14:16):

It’s ready to go.

Adam Candee (14:16):

Warming that coffee much longer.

Matt Brown (14:18):

Yeah, everybody needs to –

Adam Candee (14:19):

My coffee maker is so, yes.

Matt Brown (14:21):

I was going to say it was very fancy. His coffee maker talks to him, it lets him know what’s going on over there, it keeps him in line. It’s like, hey Adam, buddy, wrap it on up. Let’s go. Let’s get this done.

Adam Candee (14:32):

Yeah, it’s Chapelle Show-style: Wrap it up. Yeah, it’s letting me know this thing is over. You are not getting warm coffee anymore. That’s the sort of urgency that the Georgia House is going to need because the Senate just this morning passed a sports betting bill, 35-15, that would legalize sports betting in Georgia. There is a small catch, in that they included the need for this to go to the ballot in November and be ratified by voters. There is a lot of question in Georgia and no real clear answer as to whether or not voters would need to approve sports betting with a constitutional amendment because there is a prohibition against certain forms of gambling, however, this is being run through the Georgia Lottery, and the senator who proposed it believes that the constitutional amendment isn’t necessary.


So it doesn’t necessarily mean that the constitutional amendment will last in the bill, but it’s in there now on its way over to the house. There are roughly two months left in the session. Here’s why I say you don’t have a certainty in this thing. The house is where legislation has died in the past when it comes to sports betting in Georgia, and it has been for reasons that have nothing to do with legalizing sports betting. There have been arguments over voting rights, there have been arguments over transgender care and how that is addressed by the state, and what it means is that often you have had a block of Democratic legislators who do not like what is being pitched by the Republican majority in the house and they basically say, we’re not giving you anything if you don’t deal with us on these larger issues because as we talk about all the time on this podcast, sports betting is a small issue when it comes to legislators trying to deal with the business of the people in every state. But, the fact that this bill has moved quickly is a really good sign because the Senate got it done in a month and then it sent it over to the house with the idea that they will give them two months to try to work this out.


Industry sources have told our Pat Evans, who’s been covering this, that the bill has legs. We believe that it has a much better chance than what we’ve seen in the past in Georgia. How good of a chance? Probably has to do with a lot of factors that have nothing to do with sports betting.

Matt Brown (16:54):

So Eric, if we look at the grand scheme of things, I won’t include Florida, but I know it’s single operator, we’ll just say Florida has legalized sports betting, whatever.


Outside of Texas and California, would I be off-base to say that Georgia would be the biggest fish kind of left out there when we’re talking about not only from a population standpoint, but we know South Carolina doesn’t have sports betting, Alabama doesn’t have sports betting, you’re going to get some spillover from there. We talk about obviously Georgia football is massive, you have all of the Atlanta pro sports teams, you have the Masters that happens there. I mean there’s a lot of different huge events that go on as well. Is that off base for me to say that? Am I forgetting a state that is again outside of the Texas, California?

Eric Ramsey (17:45):

Nope, you got it exactly right. It’s actually a little two things that were eye-opening to me going back to the Super Bowl forecast, there’s a map in that story in LSR and there is a hole in the southeast that’s all that’s left east of the Mississippi is Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina. We’ve actually heard that Georgia is the catalyst for South Carolina. Once Georgia goes, South Carolina very likely to follow, and you’d think Alabama is not going to leave itself exposed as the only state in the east without sports betting for too long. And the other thing that surprised me is the projection for Georgia, just running quick napkin math on it, it’s going to be a top 10 market comparable to Arizona, maybe number eight, nine in the country under this implementation. Yeah, everything but hockey currently to PGA Tour events every year, including the Masters — really I think an overlooked sports betting market in the industry.

Matt Brown (18:37):

Yeah, you get the kickoff classic there for college football. You get the Peach Bowl there.

Eric Ramsey (18:42):


Matt Brown (18:43):

Yeah, NASCAR, I mean it’s kind of what like said, it’s like under the radar. Georgia actually holds some pretty big stuff and with those pro sports teams, of course the ridiculous college football fan base there with all of that, I think that it could be a really, really big state when it all comes down to it. So I’ll be interested in that one.

Eric Ramsey (19:02):

I will just say for the first time this year, don’t forget election year. That’s going to make everything just a little more complicated, it’s going to take a little more support, a little more consensus support for these things. So just want to say for the first time in 2024, we’re in an election year, so bills are just a little tougher to get across the finish line.

Matt Brown (19:20):

Eric, I was trying not to think about that. All right-

Eric Ramsey (19:22):


Matt Brown (19:22):

It’s only February. I mean as if it’s like I don’t get the commercials five times a day as it is anyway and drive past all the billboards and everything. So, Adam, we can safely say this though, nobody is going to be heading to the podium and say like, you know why you should vote for me because I’m for sports betting.

Adam Candee (19:41):

My name is Joe Biden and I want you to parlay. This message has been endorsed by Biden for pPesident.

One of the most notable partnerships to date

Matt Brown (19:49):

Yeah, not going to happen is basically what we’re saying. It’s a small, small, small, small issue. Big to us, small to everyone else. Eric, let’s talk about the goat, in my opinion. And I don’t want to have this argument here on this, I don’t want to have this argument here on this podcast. LeBron James is the greatest basketball player of all time, period. That’s the end of the story. The goat is going to be partnering up-

Adam Candee (20:13):


Matt Brown (20:13):

Oh boy. Oh boy. Oh Adam. That’ll be for the LSR plus plus plus podcast that we’ll record a little bit later. But big news coming out with LeBron James.

Eric Ramsey (20:24):

Yeah, wherever you have him on the pantheon of basketball greats, he is-

Matt Brown (20:28):

He’s on the Mount Rushmore at least, right?

Eric Ramsey (20:30):

He’s certainly number one right now active and not just a sports icon, but really a pop culture icon and now is a member of the DraftKings family. I think this was probably surprising to you guys, surprising to me when we saw this news drop yesterday that LeBron James is now an ambassador, partner, team member, employee of DraftKings, however you want to phrase it. This is going to oddly lead to some weekly football picks that LeBron is going to do for the DraftKings community. Probably some content. Basketball will be off limits for as long as he is an active NBA player, but there’s some things to think about in the future there. My brain goes to LeBron’s other business ventures that DraftKings now may have sort of an avenue to get its way into that in the future. Really just I could talk for a long time, but it’s hard to think of a bigger name or a bigger deal in sports betting. This is the goat of sports betting deals as well. So, big news in the social world of sports betting yesterday.

Matt Brown (21:28):

Adam, when we take a look at this and when I saw, it was pretty shocking to me as well, but you look and it does make you wonder the deal, everybody knows end of the line for LeBron is fairly soon. This is not a, oh, we’re making a deal with a current player. This is like, hey look, we’re really going to try to leverage this once LeBron retires. Which might be this year, I mean we don’t know. It could be the end of the season for all we know, as they move forward with all of this. And you look at LeBron, and if you talk about as a spokesperson, a pitch person, and I know there are LeBron haters out there and I don’t even get it. If you look as far as guys who have kind of kept their nose clean and really never had any sort of controversy around them for any sort of anything for as long as his career has been.


If you think like long-term, who’s the guy we want to attach our brand to as we move into the next phase of his career, which would be as a non-player. LeBron, Patrick Mahomes, it’s a pretty short list and certainly LeBron would be up there.

Adam Candee (22:34):

You know, Yesterday, on Twitter, I saw one newsletter writer/self-styled gaming analyst say, oh, am I the only one who was waiting for LeBron James football picks to decide which sportsbook to sign up for. Hey joker, do you understand the reach that this guy has? Do you understand just the exposure play for DraftKings beyond anything else here? We’re talking about 53 million Twitter followers and more than three times that on Instagram. Just the access to that many people to have your name in front of someone is worth this for DraftKings, and I know we have spent a lot of time talking about what is the value of celebrity endorsements. Look, this is not your average celebrity endorsement. This is a guy who is a billionaire businessman and that as Eric referenced, is part of what is really important to understand.


LeBron James has an empire when it comes to business in the way that Magic Johnson has an empire when it comes to business. He’s not just someone where you attach the name and go, he’s someone who has a team around him that is very good at leveraging his brand for profit. And you talk about what he has, look at uninterrupted and some of the production that he does on his own. What access could a DraftKings potentially have to that with the DraftKings network in the long run? I don’t know. We’ll find out more about this partnership as it plays out. The interesting thing to me that I think is not the flip side to it, but something to keep in mind is that it was only a couple of months ago that we found out that Maverick Carter, who’s one of LeBron James’ closest associates, got in some trouble had actually testified as part of the Wayne Nicks bookie case, that back in 2021 he had placed a handful of illegal wagers, said that he never talked to LeBron about anything that was involved in that, they’ve been able to seemingly wash that away pretty quickly. But I think it speaks to the star power of LeBron James and his ability to keep his nose clean and the fact that he has kept everything clean for so long that LeBron felt comfortable signing this kind of partnership with a sportsbook when the news of one of his closest associates being involved with illegal sports betting had been broken just a couple of months ago. It shows the power of what that brand ultimately is.

Matt Brown (24:58):

And Eric, look, I mean we sit here and we give our opinions on things and we do whatever, we should bring this up. If you look at some of these athlete partnerships that we’ve seen with some of the sportsbooks, with Gronk on the FanDuel side and the Mannings with the Caesar side of things, whatever. LeBron appeals to a different demographic than those guys do, this is a completely, this is a, hey man, I see what everyone else is doing. Maybe let’s think outside the box here and see what could happen if we kind of go in this direction with all that stuff. And this is nothing against Gronk and I think he’s great, and if you like that kind of goofy whatever stuff, and like obviously the Mannings are great with all of that as well, but LeBron certainly speaks to a different demographic than they do.

Eric Ramsey (25:44):

Yeah, I don’t know. It’s different I guess just because it’s LeBron, but I never had a thought of potential impropriety. We’ve had some of these deals come up in the past, Connor McDavid, my first thought is do we really need an active NHL player endorsing a sportsbook? For some reason none of those thoughts come up with LeBron. He has kept his nose clean, he’s on his way out the door in the next couple years. Yeah, I just think he’s probably everything you want as a spokesperson, besides his basketball abilities, and his social media following, he is mature and well-spoken about social issues, has all these other business ventures going on. Just the number one human you’d want to partner with if you’re DraftKings. So you know shout out to them. That’s a really big get for J. Robb and the crew over there. Can’t imagine what sort of dollars we’re talking about being involved in that. But yeah, impressive stuff.

Matt Brown (26:35):

All right, Adam, I’m going to circle this thing back all the way around full circle before we get out of here. Eric said 170 million for Nevada for the Super Bowl. Over, under?

Adam Candee (26:49):

Oh boy. I’m going to take over because of the whale factor.

Matt Brown (26:54):


Adam Candee (26:55):

The trick to this in the end is something that a smart person in the business told me almost two years ago. At this point, 90% of the revenue comes from 10% of the players. A disproportionate amount of the 10% of players is going to be in the state of Nevada. And so I’ll be really curious when they break this down, if it’s something like 180 in Nevada and like 30% on mobile, right? This is going to be one of those that is almost all over the counter.

Matt Brown (27:24):

Yeah, it’ll be super interesting for me. I am going to take the over as well strictly because, and I know it’s not apples to apples, we’re talking about table game stuff, and it’s way easier to drop a ton of money doing that, but I just saw the F1 factor in what it had at the casinos and all of that, and that is kind of the same principle here of let’s get as many whales into the same place as possible and then you don’t want to get out done by that guy who doesn’t want to get out done by that guy and that guy’s betting 10,000 a hand, so you’re betting 15,000 a hand and all whatever, and there’s a little bit of that that’s going to be going on as well.


Somebody’s going to announce that they put a million-dollar bet on whoever, and someone’s going to have to put a million and a half, and someone’s going to whatever. It’s just kind of going to be a lot of that stuff as well. So I will also take the over on that. We will see, of course those numbers do come out we’ll able to, we’ll be able to see whether me and Adam were right or wrong on all that. As always, everything we do, absolutely free, we do appreciate your support. If you go ahead, subscribe, rate, review, do appreciate that. If you’re watching this over on the video side of things, hit that subscribe button down there as well. Apple, Spotify, Google on the podcast side of things everywhere that you get your podcasts, we are there. The words to all of these stories that we talk about here over on legalsportsreport.com, taking all the words Adam and company are doing over there. For Adam, for Eric, I’m Matt. Talk to you guys next week.

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