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How Colin Kaepernick helped sports books set a record
Bill O'Driscoll | USA Today
RENO, Nevada — Super Bowl bettors, fueled in part by ex-Nevada football star Colin Kaepernick's starring role with the San Francisco 49ers, wagered a record $98.9 million on Sunday's game, the state reported Monday.
That far surpassed the previous record of $94.5 million put down for the 2006 Super Bowl, according to the Nevada Gaming Control Board.
"It was outstanding, way beyond anything we've ever seen," said Steve Mikkelson, Race & Sports Book manager at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa in south Reno.
Of the total wagered this year, the state's 183 sports books won $7.2 million on a wide range of betting options, including as many as two dozen "proposition" bets -- wagers not tied to the game's score -- related to Kaepernick, including how many yards thrown and in which quarter, and other elements of the game won by the Baltimore Ravens 34-31.
"We ended up with 28 to 30 prop bets on Kaepernick alone," Mikkelson said. "And they bet them all, every single one. It was just unbelievable, more than I've ever seen for any one player."
Kaepernick, quarterback at the Nevada, Reno from 2007-10, "definitely drove" the prop bets, said Michael Lawton, senior research analyst at the Gaming Control Board.
As for the record bets, he said, "I spoke with several operators, and they cited East Coast versus West Coast, high publicity, good teams, and Kaepernick. And there were a lot more prop bets this year with the way you can create them with his skill sets."
Added Jimmy Vaccaro of William Hill sportsbooks on the Kaepernick props: "We are not going to beat many of the Kaepernick props. No doubt about it. The kid lived up to his billing. People put their money on him, and they got rewarded for it.
"It wasn't a fluke, make no mistake about it. Needless to say, he's going to be a factor in what we do. He delivered the goods for people who bet on him. Everyone played all the overs on him, and they were right."
This marked the ninth year out of the past 10 in which the state's sports books tallied up a net win on Super Bowl betting, keeping 7.3% of the total wagers, according to Monday's report.
The 2008 Super Bowl was the sole exception with sports books losing $2.6 million on $92.1 million wagered on the game won by the New York Giants 17-14 over the New England Patriots.
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