EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. — The Super Bowl is the biggest event on the sports calendar each year. It's also the biggest event on the sports gambling calendar.
A record amount of money is expected to be bet on this year's game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams, and one of the biggest bets out there so far came from right here in the St. Louis area.
DraftKings Sportsbook at Casino Queen in East St. Louis recently took a $1 million parlay bet on the Bengals to win the game, and for the total points scored in the game to be under 48.5.
To win a parlay, both of those outcomes need to happen in the game.
The millions dollar bet would net the bettor more than $4 million.
"Obviously this one is rare because it's a parlay. Most of those big bets are just money line wagers. But for somebody to come in and make a bet like that on the Super Bowl, obviously a little bit surprising but not unexpected," DraftKings at Casino Queen General Manager Marc VanderWeele said.
People use wire transfers and digital means for a bet that size. It's not advised to walk around with suitcases of money like they do in movies and TV shows.
The sports betting industry has taken off across the country in recent years, and Illinois has been seeing the spike, too.
"In the casino industry nothing really surprises us. Especially with the influx of sports betting and with the Illinois market, which obviously extends to Chicago, so the Chicago money and the St. Louis market, there's a lot of money in there. Now with this market, people don't have to go to Vegas anymore," VanderWeele said.
So far, DraftKings at the Casino Queen is seeing a big rush on Super Bowl betting.
VanderWeele said there are usually 140 to 160 individual bets a person can place on a normal NFL game. The Super Bowl has 498 individual bets.
You can make the more traditional bets such as money line (winner), spreads (if a certain team will win or lose by a specific point number) and over/unders (if the total points will be over or under a certain number), or you can opt to check out the prop bets.
The Super Bowl has prop bets that range from the coin toss to the color of the Gatorade dumped on the winning coach at the end of the game.
"Currently just on the money line, spread and the over/unders we'd had almost 1,000 wagers already just on that. That's not including the prop bets," VanderWeele said.
So far in the St. Louis area, people seem to be rolling with the Bengals as opposed to our former tenants, the Rams.
"Our retail location here, 72% of wagers on the money line are all going towards Cincinnati. And on the points spread 62% are with Cincinnati getting four and a half points. And then our over/under is pretty close, 52% of the betting is going with the over 48 and a half," VanderWeele said.
DraftKings at Casino Queen is about to get a major facelift with an expanded sportsbook planning to open in a few weeks in time for March Madness.