Demand 'Extremely High' For Super Bowl Betting In Pittsburgh

two-thirds of Pittsburghers are taking the Patriots so far

January 28, 2019 - 3:29 pm

PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) – Pennsylvanians have started to open their wallets to bet on next weekend’s Super Bowl. Super Bowl LIII will be the first with legal sports betting in Pennsylvania.

Rivers Casino on the North Shore is adding staff and self-betting kiosks to handle the traffic. “The demand has been extremely high,” says Rivers General Manager Bill Keena. “During the week we’re even seeing pretty good demand on it,” Keena told The Fan’s brother station KDKA Radio.

He says demand is also spilling over to other areas of the casino. “Some other plays between table games and slots and food and beverage are up so we’re liking it an awful lot.”

The American Gaming Association says 22.7 million Americans plan to bet on Sunday’s game. They plan to wager $6 billion dollars. More of those bets will be legal. Eight states including Pennsylvania now have legal sports books.

At Rivers, demand was high even before the Super Bowl rush. Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board numbers show nearly $5.6 million dollars was bet at Rivers in the two and a half weeks from when the sports book opened on the North Shore and December 31st. That was more than either of the other two casinos with sports books in the state. Pennsylvania also comes out a winner with a 34 percent take on gross revenue.

To handle demand, Rivers has also unveiled an app that allows betters to set up their wagers on a cell phone ahead of time. Keena says about two-thirds of bets locally are on the New England Patriots who are favored by 2 ½ points. Nationally, the American Gaming Association says 52 percent say they will bet on the Los Angeles Rams.

So-called prop bets are also drawing a lot of interest says Keena. He cites betting activity on the Rams’ and former Pitt star Aaron Donald to be the game’s Most Valuable Player. “He opened at 25-1 and it’s now down to 14-1,” says Keena. “That’s how much betting has been going on Aaron Donald to win MVP.”

Related: Goff, 17 Years Brady's Junior, On Equal Ground At Super Bowl

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