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Maybe it was regional bias. But the influx of late money on the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII proved profitable for Nevada and its sportsbooks.

The state’s Gaming Control Board released figures Monday which showed $145.9 million was bet on the game, which saw the New England Patriots defeat the Rams 13-3 in Atlanta. The win was $10,780,319, a 7.4 percent hold.

And while the $158.6 million record bet from last year’s game, which also involved the Patriots, was not broken, the win this year was far greater for the books this time around as several seven-figure wagers on the Rams were placed prior to kickoff Sunday.

The drop in handle ended a three-year run of increased wagering. But what could be factored in to the drop off in handle could be the fact for the first time, legalized wagering on the game was taking place outside of Nevada.

Seven states (New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia, Mississippi, Rhode Island and New Mexico) offered betting on the game. But the handle wasn’t great in those jurisdictions. In New Jersey, the books took a loss of $4.6 million after just $34.9 million was bet. Perhaps the fact the Patriots being an East Coast team contributed to the loss in the Garden State.

When asked about the dropoff in Nevada, Jay Rood, vice president of race and sports for MGM Resorts said he didn’t think the other states impacted the handle.

“It was business as usual here (in Las Vegas), Rood said. “Maybe if the matchup were different, say Saints and Chiefs, we would have had a monster handle. But you’ve got to play the hand you’re dealt.”

Rood had a theory as to why the handle was off.

“The only reason I could think of was (Bettor X) didn’t bet as much this year,” he said of the unidentified bettor who has been known to place seven-figure wagers around town. “Last year he bet $10 million. This year, he bet just $3 million. That’s a lot less from a year ago and when you look at the comparative numbers for the handle that may have played a factor.

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About the Author

Steve Carp

Steve Carp is a six-time Nevada Sportswriter of the Year. A 30-year veteran of the Las Vegas sports journalism scene, he covered the Vegas Golden Knights for the Las Vegas Review-Journal from 2015-2018.

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