Super Bowl LVI between the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals is just around the corner, and money has begun to pour in as sports bettors make wagers on the big game.
FanDuel CEO Amy Howe told FOX Business Friday the company was projecting about 7 million Super Bowl bets will be placed on its platform.
"This Super Bowl is going to be the biggest sports betting event in history," Howe said. "If you look at our platform, we’re projecting somewhere about 7 million bets — 50% of those likely to come from player props. It’s not just about who wins or loses, there’s something for everyone.
"As America's number one sportsbook, we have over 550 different betting markets for the Super Bowl alone. You can (bet) on what the final score is going to be, who’s going to score the first touchdown and same-day parlays, which have been hugely popular for us. It’s become a mainstream part of enjoying and elevating that sports experience."
One of FanDuel’s biggest prop bets is on the final score. Bettors placing wagers on the Bengals beating the Rams 34-31 have been coming in hot and apparently inspired by a photoshopped social media meme depicting an episode of "The Simpsons."
"We’ll see how that plays out," Howe said. "But it’s amazing how these things take hold."
The Super Bowl is back in Los Angeles for the first time in nearly three decades. Howe told FOX Business it's "exciting" to see the city transform as the big game comes to town.
"The buzz and energy in Los Angeles this week has just been phenomenal," Howe said. "Just think about it. Last year, obviously, we weren’t back to normal on the events and the parties, and just the energy that the Super Bowl brings with it is back even though we still have to be cautious with COVID. I think everybody is so happy to be in the beautiful stadium. SoFi is absolutely beautiful, and LA brought the weather for this week."
Howe was named FanDuel CEO in October after initially joining the Flutter Entertainment property as president last February and eventually serving as chief executive on an interim basis.
"It has been a phenomenal run. I came over from Live Nation Entertainment and helped manage through the pandemic," Howe said. "So to be able to step into an industry that just has a tremendous amount of momentum, America’s No. 1 leading sportsbook and in a leading position is a pretty fantastic position to be in.
"We still have a lot of regulatory momentum. We have right now 14 states where online sports betting is legal. That’s up from 10 at last year’s Super Bowl time, and there’s still a lot of momentum. There should be another four or five that will open up in the next year. Just being able to meet that demand as quickly as possible."
Increasing female participation in sports betting
Howe told Fortune Magazine in December she wanted to see more female participation in sports betting.
She shared with FOX Business how FanDuel is increasing efforts to get female sports fans to participate in the ever-evolving sports experience.
"If you look at the data, 50% of sports fans are women. If you look at the betting population, it’s closer to 10-20%, so you know there’s an underserved segment there. Historically, it’s been predominantly a young male kind of 21- to 52-year-old audience and target," Howe said.
"There's a few things we're doing. One is making sure that we start by supporting the female athlete. We were the first to partner with the WNBA. We have a really good relationship with the Women's Tennis Association, and we were the first to take bets on women’s March Madness. So, starting with that female athlete and supporting on that front is important.
"Then, as we think about going after the female consumer, you look at the data, a key insight there is that women can be intimidated by sports betting. As you think about going after that audience – how do you make it, how do you educate, and how do you present the content in a more consumable way?" Howe added.
"We’ve done things like partnered up with The Gist, and we had a fantasy sports competition that was only for women and also just finding the right channels. We're working with our media partners right now to really figure out instead of just buying for male 21 to 54, how do we reach that female audience in a very credible and authentic way."