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If you feel like the Patriots ruined all the fun of Super Bowl Sunday, try being FanDuel Sportsbook today.
The Patriots’ 13-3 victory over the Rams easily covered the spread and helped deal an “estimated net loss” of $5 million to FanDuel Sportsbook in New Jersey, according to a FanDuel spokesman. That estimated net loss includes free bets, as well as payouts on the game.
Sources indicate to Legal Sports Report that such free bets represent a significant portion of that $5 million hit.
In the competitive NJ sports betting market, most sportsbooks offered some enticement for bettors to jump into the action on the biggest sports wagering day on the American calendar. FanDuel Sportsbook offered a 53-to-1 moneyline bet on either team Sunday, which could account for much of the cost.
Such free bet promotional offers are common for online sportsbooks as they try to win market share with new bettors.
New England attracted most of the betting handle across the country. The Patriots accounted for anywhere from 65 to 90 percent of the tickets and money at US sportsbooks across an informal survey of Nevada and New Jersey operations.
FanDuel Sportsbook sat at the upper end of that range, holding major exposure to the Patriots. As of Thursday afternoon, FanDuel said more than 86 percent of tickets and nearly 90 percent of money bet on the spread were on the Patriots.
FanDuel’s full statement on the Super Bowl:
After opening at +1 on New England, customers quickly pumped money on the Patriots and didn’t stop. By kick off, 75% of money was on the Pats. In addition, new customers took advantage of a great sign up offer for the Super Bowl this week that won them $265 on a $5 bet with odds of 53-1. All of this combined to leave New England as a big loser for the FanDuel Sportsbook. Very big in fact. We estimate our customers won almost $5 million from us on the Big Game (net winnings).
Given New Jersey’s relative proximity to the Boston area, that does not come as an enormous surprise. The money easily could come from Patriots fans or weary Jets fans who have watched years of New England dominance.
FanDuel Sportsbook’s $5 million hit did not stand alone in NJ sports betting on Sunday. DraftKings Sportsbook also lost money on the Super Bowl.
A DraftKings Sportsbook spokesman confirmed the Boston-based company absorbed a loss of just more than $1 million. DraftKings paid out $11 million overall on the Super Bowl.
DraftKings held much less exposure than FanDuel on the Patriots, with moneyline tickets evenly split and 65 percent of spread tickets. About two-thirds of the overall money on both came in for New England.
Super Bowl Sunday likely will see the largest single-day handle in the young market’s history. The NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement could release handle and revenue figures this week.
FanDuel Sportsbook quickly became one of the more popular options for NJ sports betting. The company launched its retail sportsbook at Meadowlands Racetrack in July, then started up its mobile app in September.
In December, FanDuel Sportsbook paced the NJ sports betting market with a $9 million revenue haul. That represented a jump of $2 million from November.