A History of the Super Bowl and Betting

Feb 5, 2024

It’s one of the most watched events on the global sporting calendar, and this year will be no different. The Super Bowl is the final game of the NFL season and captures the attention of Americans nationwide. But before the Super Bowl takes place on February 11, we take a look back at the history and how the sports betting industry has become a larger part of the championship game. 

History of Betting on the Super Bowl 

Sports Betting

The sports betting industry has grown more than anybody could have imagined in the last few years. But it all started back in 1975 when the first sportsbook opened inside a Las Vegas casino. Sin City was already the hub for gambling, so it became the ideal place to launch in-person sports betting as well. For those who wanted to legally bet on the Super Bowl, a trip to Nevada was the only option. 

It stayed that way for over 40 years, but as the sports world entered the modern era, sports betting did too. In the Spring of 2018, the Supreme Court changed the landscape forever in the United States. Fast forward to today, and you can legally bet on the Super Bowl in about three-quarters of U.S. states.

Super Bowl Squares

There are many different methods of betting on the Super Bowl. You can sign up at an online sportsbook and place straight bets, prop bets, or parlays, or you can participate in “Super Bowl Squares.” A Super Bowl Squares contest is very simple - played on a 10 by 10 grid that looks like a bigger version of a bingo card. However, instead of trying to get five in a row, you’re hoping to get the square that has the final two numbers of the score. Participants buy a square on the board until all 100 boxes are filled. 

On the grid, one team is assigned the numbers along the horizontal rows, while the other team is assigned the vertical columns. The rows and columns are labeled with a number from 0 to 9. So, let’s look at last year’s Super Bowl for an example. With a final score of 38-35 in favor of the Chiefs, the squares participant with the square that had 5 for the Eagles and 8 for the Chiefs was the winner. The game can be played using the final score at the end of each quarter, half, or just the game. Super Bowl squares are a popular way to add other rooting interests while watching the Super Bowl. However, there are potential dangers involved with any type of gambling where money is wagered in the hopes of a profitable return. 

Legalization of Online Sports Betting in the United States

When and how did online sports betting become legal

The Supreme Court overturned The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act on May 18, 2018. This changed the landscape of sports gambling forever, as PASPA was a law that prohibited sports betting nationwide (with Nevada as an exception), largely because of the potential complications and issues it could cause between athletes and gambling on their games.

However, when the Supreme Court ruled against the PASPA in 2018, it opened a new opportunity for sports betting to expand out of Las Vegas. Soon after PASPA was overturned, some individual states began to push legislation to legalize sports gambling, often the “online” version that suddenly allowed bettors to place wagers from their cell phone and computers. Many states saw sports betting as a way to increase tax revenue, while other states were still hesitant on changing their ways. 

Which states offer legalized sports betting? 

There are now 38 states, plus Washington D.C., that have jumped into the new era of gambling by legalizing sports betting. Here are the states that have legalized some form of sports gambling:

Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington D.C., West Virginia, Wyoming

Are Super Bowl Squares legal? 

If you participate in Super Bowl Squares that have been organized by a licensed online sportsbook, it is perfectly legal. However, it is technically  illegal (despite its popularity) for individuals without a betting license to operate Super Bowl Squares contests in most states. Instead, it is advised to use a regulated online sportsbook when taking part. 

Dangers and Risks of Sports Betting on the Super Bowl

How to avoid Gambling Addiction

For many Americans nowadays, sports betting is a newly available way to add financial rooting interests to their consumption of sports, but it can also lead to problems if not careful. Gambling addiction is a serious issue that can lead to financial problems and mental health issues. It is important to set limits and financial boundaries for yourself before sports betting. Most importantly, never wager more than you are willing and financially able to lose. 

As part of a full-service offering, Birches Health provides one-on-one counseling and treatments with specialists trained to treat those who are struggling with Problem Gambling. It is easy to schedule appointments that fit your schedule, and all conversations are 100% confidential. 

What to do if you or someone you know may have a Gambling Problem

If you or someone you know may be suffering from sports gambling addiction, Birches Health can be the solution. Birches’ licensed sports gambling specialists have vast experience treating gambling disorders and addictions.  Birches Health believes in a personalized treatment plan for every individual who needs help.

If you believe you or someone you know may be struggling with gambling addiction, call (833) 483-3838 or email hello@bircheshealth.com.

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