Bookies estimate Packers-Seahawks game cost bettors upwards of $300M

Kevin Burbach

Twitter, Facebook and social media sites around the country exploded last night as America watched the controversial call that awarded the Seattle Seahawks a victory over the Green Bay Packers.

But while most people were irate over the allegedly botched call — you can decide for yourself here but to most it seems pretty cut and dry — there’s a contingency of Americans who lost a little more than trust in the replacement referees Monday night.

The Associated Press reported Tuesday morning the game-ending call that swung it in favor of the Seahawks caused upwards of $300 million to change hands in Las Vegas, where gambling is legal.

The betting line for the game had the Packers winning by 4.5 points. Had the call been ruled an interception, the Packers have won by 5 points.

"Due to one call by the replacement refs, the bettors lost $150 million, and the bookie won $150 million for a total swing of $300 million on one debatably bad call," said gambling expert RJ Bell of

Other news organizations have reported lower numbers. Mike Perry, spokesman for the betting site, told ESPN his estimate was closer to between $200 and $250 million.

Bell estimated two-thirds of bets were placed on the Packers.

The gambling aspect is just one piece of what some have coined one the most controversial calls in NFL history. Players from the Packers and other teams have weighed in, mostly on Twitter. The Vikings’ own Chris Kluwe, a regular contributor to Deadspin, wrote an article last night in favor of the Packers and condemning the replacement referees.

But athletes weren’t the only to weigh in. Far from, in fact. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker tweeted for the return of the refs and Republican Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan used the poor officiating as a chance for comparison with President Barack Obama.

As one poorly judged call is sweeping the nation, it reinforces once again the dominance of and passion for sport in America but more importantly, that the NFL should never have hired referees formerly released from the Lingerie Football League.