The Nevada Gaming Control Board reports (.pdf) that Las Vegas casinos took a bath this Sunday, losing $2.6 million as the New York Giants stopped the New England Patriots from rolling to an undefeated season.
It was the third-ever loss and the first since 1995 for Sin City when Vegas sportsbooks lost $396,674. That year the San Francisco 49ers covered a 20-point spread, beating the San Diego Chargers 49-26.
Also disappointing for sportsbooks was the total $92 million wagered on the game, which was lower than the expected $100 million and also a drop from last year's $93 million total.
According to Kenny White, the co-owner of Las Vegas Sports Consultants, professional bettors accounted for about 30 percent of the betting this year, up from the 20 percent figure of years past.
Frank Streshley of the Gaming Control Board tells Reuters that:
many bettors took a "moneyline" bet this year -- opting to put money on a simple wager that the underdog Giants would prevail, rather than more complicated point-spread bets.
It also looks like oddsmakers were a bit too optimistic in their hopes of getting even money on both sides of the 12-point spread. Super Bowl lines are supposed to move towards the favorite as it gets closer to game time, but that didn't happen this time around.