Super Bowl Also Means Super Day for Gambling
There are some people who might argue that the Super Bowl is one of the greatest embodiments of American culture that can possibly occur in event form. After all, the Super Bowl offers many of the things that, at least stereotypically speaking, are representative of traditional American values and society – aggression, competitiveness, spectacle, commercialism, and of course, gambling.
Held this year at the Superdome in New Orleans, formerly known as the Louisiana Superdome prior to a 2011 name change, the victor of Super Bowl XLVII was the Ravens of Baltimore, Maryland, who beat out the 49ers of San Francisco 34-31.
Though the game itself had many exciting plays, a stellar halftime performance by Beyonce, and even the thrill of a brief and, according to ESPN, not completely unexpected power outage, the record of the day actually went to Nevada casinos, which saw a historic $98.9 million worth of bets placed in their sportsbooks.
Late last year, Forbes.com had predicted that Nevada casinos would see bets totaling $95 million, which in itself would have made for a record year. Some of the reason for the banner betting year is said to be attributed to the fact that football fans from California, who enjoy close proximity to Nevada casinos, turned out in droves to place bets on the 49ers, a team that had not made it to a Super Bowl previously since 1995.
“Northern Nevada gets swamped with 49er money,” this according to Jay Kornegay, book director for LVH.
This year’s astonishing wagering figure shattered the record previously set back in 2006, when the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Seattle Seahawks went head to the head for the title and fans (and those just hoping to make some money) plunked down a still-impressive $94.5 million.
Unfortunately, not all of the betting that happens on Super Bowl Sunday is of the legal, regulated variety. On the other side of the country from Las Vegas, where placing sports bets at casinos is completely on the up and up, New Jersey authorities busted up an illegal sports-betting ring on the Monday following the big game.
Residents living near a Caribbean-style deli had been complaining for some time that a gambling ring was being operated out of the store, and authorities discovered cash, a great number of gambling slips, as well as weapons when they raided the place.
Americans needn’t feel bad, however, as our neighbors to the north in Canada apparently also find pleasure in placing illegal Super Bowl wagers. It was reported that on Sunday, police near Toronto arrested six men and seized about $2.5 million in illegal gambling money when they raided an invitation-only Super Bowl party at which more than 2,300 people were in attendance.