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Record number of bets expected for Super Bowl – CNBC

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People take pictures near the Super Bowl LIV fan zone on January 24, 2020 in Miami Beach.

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This year’s Super Bowl will be the most legally bet on Super Bowl in history. New data from the American Gaming Association says 26 million Americans will wager approximately $6.8 billion on Super Bowl LIV, a 15% increase from last year’s game as the Kansas City Chiefs face off against the San Francisco 49ers.

“Americans have never before had so many opportunities to wager on the Super Bowl in a safe and legal manner, and clearly, they are getting in on the action,” said Bill Miller, president and CEO of the association. Miller tells CNBC that bettors are beginning to migrate from the illegal marketplace. “That’s the most important and exciting dynamic,” he added.

Since May 2018 when the U.S. Supreme Court repealed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, 20 states now offer legal and regulated sports betting. Of those, 14 states are operational allowing sports wagering. Fourteen more states are expected to legalize this year. Legalization has proven to be a windfall for states, with $17 billion wagered legally and a lot of that money means new revenue for states.

With the new frontier of legalized sports betting taking hold, more and more Americans will wager on the Super Bowl at brick-and-mortar sportsbooks, a 25% increase from last year. Another 5 million will place their bet online or on a mobile platforms, a 19% increase from last year.

For companies FanDuel and Drafkings, the Super Bowl is one of their biggest days of the year. Both companies are hoping to capitalize on the big game.

In a recent survey, DraftKings found that 82% of fans are planning on placing a legal wager this year on the Super Bowl.

“There is a clear desire among many fans to experience these products, which, in turn, shapes their overall engagement, and we are encouraged by what these findings mean for the future growth of sports betting in the United States,” said Matt Kalish, co-founder and president of Draftkings North America.

The NFL continues to be the most popular sport among users of their daily fantasy services and sportsbooks.

Last year, DraftKings set a then-company record of $11 million in payouts for New Jersey alone on Super Bowl Sunday.

Who are football fans betting on? According to the AGA’s survey, 52% of people say they will bet on the Kansas City Chiefs, while 48% will bet on the 49ers.

“I think they are both very strong teams with compelling story lines,” Miller said about what the team match-up might mean for bettors.

For the sports leagues, more bettors have translated into more engagement. Previous AGA research found that 75% of NFL bettors said they are likely to watch a game they have bet. NFL viewership was up 5% in 2019, and another 5 points the year before.

“It’s good for fans, the leagues, teams, regulators and constituents,” said Miller.

Disclosure: CNBC parent Comcast and NBC Sports are investors in FanDuel.

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Palestinian flag waved on pitch as Morocco celebrates historic World Cup win

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Several players of Morocco’s national team unfurled a Palestinian flag on the pitch while celebrating their historic World Cup win over Spain in Qatar on Tuesday.

World Cup quarterfinals: Qualifying teams, fixtures and schedule

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Following a dramatic penalty shootout, Morocco became the first Arab side to make it to the World Cup quarterfinals.

This is the second time Moroccan players have raised the Palestinian flag after winning a match. Morocco’s player Jawad El Yamiq raised the Palestinian flag while celebrating his country’s 2-1 victory over Canada last week.

Moroccan football fans were also seen waving a “Free Palestine” banner during the North African country’s 2-0 victory over Belgium in Group E earlier in the tournament.

Morocco's team makes a group photo on the pitch, holding the Palestinian flag after beating Spain.

Regulations from FIFA, soccer’s global governing body, prohibit the use of banners, flags and fliers that are deemed to be political, offensive and/or discriminatory in nature.

“The promotion or announcement of political or religious messages or any other political or religious actions, inside or in the immediate vicinity of the stadium, by any means, is strictly prohibited before, during and after matches,” FIFA regulations state.

Israeli journalists experience chilly reception at Qatar World Cup

 

Football authorities have occasionally issued fines for displays of the Palestinian flag inside grounds.

The flag bearing move was hailed by Arabs on social media, as users from Libya, Morroco, Egypt and Saudi Arabia celebrated the Moroccan win.

Videos on social media also show Palestinians celebrating Morocco’s win in the streets of several cities in the West Bank and in Gaza.

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With CBT 'not an obstacle,' Blue Jays can avoid Judge drama with Guerrero and Bichette – Sportsnet.ca

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Matt Murray Mitch Marner Toronto Maple Leafs Dallas Stars

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DALLAS (AP) — Matt Murray made a season-high 44 saves and Mitch Marner extended his Toronto-record point streak to 20 games with an early assist as the Maple Leafs beat the Dallas Stars 4-0 on Tuesday night.

John Tavares, Auston Matthews, Rasmus Sandin and Alexander Kerfoot scored for the surging Maple Leafs, who are 9-0-3 in their last 12 games. They pulled within three points of first-place Boston in the Atlantic Division.

Dallas went 0 for 7 on the power play despite 17 shots on goal, including a four-minute double minor and a 5-on-3 for 1:38.

Toronto blocked 27 shots in its first shutout this season, and the Stars missed the net on 22 attempts.

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“Big thanks to the guys in front who did a heck of a job defensively tonight against a really dangerous team,” said Murray, who was acquired from Ottawa last summer and shares time in net with fellow newcomer Ilya Samsonov.

Murray is 6-0-2 since missing 15 games with an adductor injury following his initial start of the season.

“He was perfect,” Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said. “Came up with huge saves in big moments. Obviously, the number of penalties we took today could have been a big problem.”

The Stars were shut out for the first time this season and are tied with Winnipeg atop the Central Division with 33 points. The Jets have two games in hand.

Jake Oettinger stopped 25 shots.

It was the NHL’s first game featuring two players with point streaks of at least 18 games.

The Stars’ Jason Robertson saw his run end at 18, a Dallas record. Robertson leads the NHL with 23 goals.

Marner got an assist when his wrist shot was stopped but Tavares tapped in the rebound 4:51 in for the first of two first-period Toronto goals.

“Like I’ve been saying, it’s not a one-man effort,” Marner said. “Just trying to go out there and buzz.”

Matthews took possession after his wrist shot was stopped and circled back into the slot to score at 17:36.

Sandin collected a loose puck just outside the crease and scored at 12:19 of the second period for a 3-0 lead.

Kerfoot added an empty-net goal with 3:53 remaining, rolling the puck in from center ice. It was his first goal since a 3-2 overtime win at home over the Stars on Oct. 20.

Toronto played most of the game with only five defensemen. Victor Mete left with a lower-body injury after playing just 3:04 of the first period. Mete is expected to miss at least a few games.

During part of Dallas’ 5-on-3 late in the second, the Maple Leafs were further handcuffed when Marner had to give up a broken stick. He still managed to block a shot.

Maple Leafs forward Semyon Der-Arguchintsev made his NHL debut, playing 7:16.

FAMILY AFFAIR

It was the second and final scheduled meeting this season matching Robertson against his younger brother, Maple Leafs forward Nick Robertson.

Their mother, Mercedes, traveled from Michigan to attend the game. She followed her custom in these brotherly matchups by wearing the home team’s sweater and the visitors’ cap.

Nick Robertson scored his only two goals of the season to date in the teams’ previous meeting — including the overtime winner.

“He wasn’t too happy about that,” Nick said of his brother when they visited after that game.

POWER OUTAGE

Dallas is 0 for 11 on the power play in its past two games after ranking second in the NHL at 30% going into Sunday’s game, a 6-5 shootout loss to Minnesota.

“We had some great looks,” captain Jamie Benn said of Tuesday’s effort. “We’ve got to find a way.”

UP NEXT

Maple Leafs: Host the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday.

Stars: Host the Ottawa Senators on Thursday.

___

AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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