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Americans are expected to bet $7.6 billion on the Super Bowl, up 78 percent from last year
A record 31.4 million Americans are expected to bet $7.6 billion on Sunday's Super Bowl game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Los Angeles Rams, Reuters reports.
The number of betters is up 35 percent over last year, and the total amount wagered is up 78 percent. Much of the increase is driven by aggressive marketing campaigns for online sports betting, which became legal in several states following a 2018 Supreme Court decision.
Adam Chandler warned in The Atlantic that, with an ever greater number of Americans obsessively checking their bets during the big game, the Super Bowl may lose its "monocultural character," taking "one of the few communal spectacles we have left and turn[ing] it into something more individualistic."
Reuters notes that "only a portion" of those billions will be wagered on which team actually wins the game. Gamblers can also make proposition bets, which can range from which team will score first to "whether a player will propose to his girlfriend on the field after the game and whether Snoop Dogg will smoke on stage while performing at the Super Bowl halftime show."