LINCOLN, R.I. (WPRI) — Several thousand Rhode Island and Massachusetts residents wagered part of their paycheck on the Big Game Sunday night.
While Rhode Island has a couple years of experience when it comes to sports betting, this is the first year it’s legal in Massachusetts.
Local casinos said the process went smoothly Sunday night, considering the number of people placing bets.
“This is the most anticipated event of the year for a sportsbook next to March Madness,” Barstool Sports Book Manager Ryan Blake said. “It can make it just a little bit more exciting for someone who has no interest in the game. Patriots aren’t playing and that’s our local team. Anyone who isn’t a fan of the Chiefs or the Eagles may be looking to get a little bit more involved.”
The American Gaming Association predicted that more than 50 million people nationwide bet about $16 billion on the big game.
The surge in gambling also provided a boost for several sports betting apps including DraftKings, whose stock had dropped about 30% from last year.
Rhode Island Department of Revenue spokesperson Paul Grimaldi estimated that $5.9 million was wagered through Sportsbook Rhode Island Sunday night.
The top five prop bets, according to Grimaldi, were the following:
- Player to score TD
- Coin Toss Heads/Tails
- First TD Scorer
- Player to score 2 or more TD’s
- Will a kickoff or punt be returned for a TD
Betting numbers for the Plainridge Park Casino weren’t available Monday.