That much but not much

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RHODE Island Senate President Dominick Ruggerio is seen placing a bet on the Super Bowl between the New England Patriots and the Los Angeles Rams. AP

LAS VEGAS — Football fans in three states legally bet almost $185.5 million on the Super Bowl this year, with sportsbooks ending Sunday with mixed results and Nevada operators seeing the first drop in the total amount wagered on the game since 2015.

The game between the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams was the first major professional sporting event to be posted on the boards of sportsbooks outside Nevada. All opened after the US Supreme Court ended a federal ban on wagering on sports last year.
Figures released Monday by gambling regulators in Nevada show people wagered $145.94 million at the state’s 200 sportsbooks, $12.65 million less than in 2018. Sportsbooks operators in New Jersey accepted about $34.9 million in wagers and lost money, while in Mississippi, fans bet around $4.67 million at non-tribal casinos.

“I would characterize it as a solid day. It wasn’t a bad day or a great day; it was right in the middle,” said Jay Kornegay, vice president of race and sports book operations at Westgate Las Vegas Superbook.

Nevada’s effective monopoly on sports betting ended last spring, when the Supreme Court ruled the ban should be lifted. Casinos in seven other states — Rhode Island, Delaware, Mississippi, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and New Mexico — now accept wagers on sports. The list is expected to grow by next year.
New Jersey gambling regulators said sportsbooks lost $4.6 million when they paid $39.5 million to those who won bets. Many gamblers backed the Patriots, who beat the Rams 13-3 and covered the spread of 2-1/2 points.

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