Sports fans all over the world love to wager on their favorite teams. Although this is often frowned upon by sports betting experts – don’t let your heart get involved– betting on your favorite teams makes sense. As long as you don’t let your biases get in the way of making sound decisions! After all, what team do you know inside and out better than your team?

If you are interested but don’t where to bet, you should do some research and look for the best sportsbooks.

With NFL and College Football in the offseason, and NBA and NHL peaking out in their respective Finals, and Premier & Champions League over, we are transitioning into betting slow season. So as we move past spring and into summer, let’s have a look at some of the biggest sportsbook handles we’ve seen so far in 2019.

Super Bowl LIII

Super Bowl LIII was considered a bust in both the game itself and the expected betting handle. It had around 5% less viewership, and many of those who did watch were disappointed. Worse than a five percent viewership drop, the betting handle plummeted eight percent.

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It was expected to be a record-setting handle, yet Super Bowl LIII only brought in $145,935,025.00 versus the $158,586,935.00 that Super Bowl LII raked in. That said, it’s still over 145 million dollars bet on one game, so Super Bowl LIII still sits as one of the highest grossing games in 2019.

Kentucky Derby

America’s biggest horse race did not disappoint at the betting windows this year. Despite Maximum Security’s disqualification wiping around 9 million dollars action and leaving tons of long faces, hackers of Country House at 65-1 were quite happy. So were the sportsbooks and racetracks in general.

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This year’s Kentucky Derby smashed records in the United States increasing from a 149.9 million dollar handle last year to a 165.5 million dollar handle this year. Globally, the Derby took in 250.9 million dollars, which is an 11 percent increase over 2018.

The Triple Crown in its entirety is massive. When you look at the Kentucky Derby, Belmont Stakes, and Preakness you start approaching the $500 million range. And this thoroughbred betting in May of 2019 hit 1.3 billion dollars!

March Madness

One event to rule them all. ‘March Madness’ or the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament provides a heaping pile cash for sportsbooks and Casinos all over the world. In 2019 it was estimated that 8.5 BILLION dollars – yes, you read that correctly– were wagered during the tournament. 4.5 billion through state-sanctioned bets and bracket competitions and roughly another 4 billion through offshore, online betting.

That is an amazing amount of money! On top of all of that money being handled by bookies, past years have reported over 1.9 billion dollars was lost in total business productivity in the United States, including around 134 million dollars in lost wages. In 2019 projections in lost productivity hit a phenomenal $13.3 million mark. With over 75 million people spending an average of six work hours each throughout the tournament, it’s no wonder the losses are in the billions!

Honorable Mention

We know that the Champions League Finals between Liverpool and Tottenham must have been one of the biggest grossing events this year, but we can’t track down any factual numbers.

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One thing we do know, over 70% of the handle was on Liverpool to win and they did, so bookmakers likely took a huge hit.

Mr Play


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