For the first time in the Super Bowl’s 57-year history, fans visiting the site of the Super Bowl game – to be held on Sunday, Feb. 12 in Glendale, Ariz. – will be able to spend the week making legal wagers on the contest in and around the stadium.
Of course, many Philadelphia Eagles fans are used to placing such bets in their home state of Pennsylvania, where wagers first were taken in late 2018.
But that launch came almost a full year after the Eagles won their first-ever Super Bowl, in Feb. 2018. So this also marks the first time that the fan bases of one of the Super Bowl teams could bet legally in their home state.
Still, plenty of the Kansas City Chiefs faithful also has spent the past football season making legal bets. That’s because neighboring Kansas launched such gambling last September – and Kansas City, Kansas is just across the border from its more famous and more-populated counterpart.
Residents themselves are relatively new to Arizona sports betting since it just debuted in fall 2021. Many sportsbooks in the state – including Hard Rock, Golden Nugget, and Betway – were not yet live in Arizona as of the previous Super Bowl game between the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals.
There are now 17 legal mobile sportsbooks in Arizona, including familiar brand names to many sports and entertainment enthusiasts such as DraftKings, FanDuel, Caesars, MGM, BetRivers, and SuperBook.
As in many states that have been home to sports betting for fewer than two years, promotions abound for Arizona residents as well as for those visiting the state. The largest appears to be FanDuel, which is touting a $3,000 “No Sweat First Bet” of up to $3,000 for new signups.
The sportsbook industry has taken some heat from responsible gambling officials as well as some lawmakers who recoiled at the once-popular “Risk-Free Bets” language that was used in so many cases.
The fact is, there IS risk – and while “No Sweat” may be a modest improvement, the fact is that a newly signed-up gambler may wind up perspiring plenty.
Bottom line: read the fine print of any sports betting signup promotions. Better still, contact someone you know who has expertise on gambling to walk you through the process of any specific promotion.
Super Bowl Props
Those new to sports betting may be amazed at how exotic some of the Super Bowl gambling options are. The challenge is, some state regulators allow nearly any bet, while others keep the betting focused on the performances of the players on the two teams.
But in New Jersey, for example, DraftKings and other sportsbooks are offering odds on the coin toss (heads or tails) – as well as on which team wins the coin toss and which wins the game as sort of a “mini-parlay” bet.
Will there be a “scorigami”?” That’s a final score result that has never happened in an NFL game. If you have a wild hunch that the game might end with a score of 5-2, 20-11, or 46-7, for example, your 20-to-1 bet would pay off. (Pro tip: It won’t.)
The offbeat prop that probably gets the most attention is “What will be the color of the Gatorade poured on the head coach of the winning team after the game?”
The dual-color entry of yellow and green is the favorite – it would turn your $10 bet into a $16.50 profit.
Of course, these bets demonstrate no more skill than that exhibited by a casino gambler at a roulette wheel. That’s why such bets, while amusing, should not be for relatively high stakes. Fortunately, many state regulators ensure that outcome by placing much lower limits on these sorts of wagers.
Golf the best bet before the big game for ticketholders and other visitors
Thousands of visitors will descend on the Phoenix area either to attend the Super Bowl or just soak in the atmosphere from the NFL Experience attraction or the countless Bowl-themed parties.
And those attending this year’s game may notice more TV sets in bars and restaurants than usual showing the PGA Tour golf event in Scottsdale beginning on Thursday.
That’s because not only is it a local event, it also attracts more than 700,000 spectators annually – making it the most-attended golf tournament in the world.
And for those who think golf is a sedate sport – not this week it isn’t. The Waste Management Phoenix Open is in the midst of that vast chasm between a typical golf event – with ubiquitous “Quiet, Please” signs urging spectators to behave – and Mardi Gras parades in New Orleans.
When professional Sam Ryder made a hole-in-one at the par-3 16th hole – known as “Party Central” – in the third round last year, thousands of spectators in the triple-decker seating section erupted in raucous fashion, littering the putting green with their beer containers and causing a delay in play (not that anyone minded, including the golfers).
Some visitors to Arizona this week who then find out that they can make legal wagers on the event on their smartphones are liable to sign up on the spot.
To make matters even more enticing, the PGA Tour this year granted this tournament “elevated status” – more than doubling the total prize money to a total of $20 million, thus enticing the best field the event has ever had.
Rory McIlroy, Arizona State alumnus Jon Rahm, 2022 Player of the Year Scottie Scheffler, and nearly all of the rest of the Official World Golf Rankings Top 20 will be on hand.
The four-day event concludes on Sunday just minutes before the Super Bowl kickoff – making for a Super Sunday indeed for gamblers in Arizona, and across the majority of the U.S. states that now permit legal sports betting.