By Bailey Constas
The Rocky Mountain Collegian
Put a simple post on Facebook to see whoâ€™s betting on the Super Bowl and youâ€™ll probably get a million responses varying from â€œI bet Tom Brady is a bitch,â€ Shai J. Fullmer said, to â€œIâ€™m putting my life savings on the Giants,â€ Kelly Sampson said.
Gambling on sports is no joke to some. Including Nathan Zafuto, a freshman journalism and technical communication major.
Zafuto was introduced to gambling on games at a young age since he was born in Las Vegas.
â€œI was probably playing poker for money as young as 8 years old, as well as playing gambling games while golfing when I was around the same age,â€ Zafuto said.
Besides gambling for the money, Zafuto said he also enjoys the thrill of competition.
â€œGambling is a competition to me where I’m competing to test my knowledge and abilities against other people,â€ he said.
And while heâ€™s a big fan of blackjack and poker, Zafuto also said football is one of the only sports he bets on.
â€œFootball is not only easier to bet on, but also more people are involved when it comes to betting on football,â€ he said. â€œFootball is arguably America’s favorite sport, and the Super Bowl is the biggest television event in the world. So betting on the Super Bowl is exciting just because of how big of a deal it is to America.â€
Zafuto usually uses a standard Las Vegas spread when betting.
During the regular season, Zafuto uses parlay cards, which require players to pick 10 games correctly using the spread.
However, during the Super Bowl, Zafuto bets on pretty much anything, including the number of interceptions in a game, number of touchdowns and field goals.
â€œThis year for the Super Bowl, I’ll bet about $50 dollars, but I’ll roughly have the chance to win about $500,â€ he said. â€œDuring the regular season, I’ll bet $10 a week to buy the parlay cards, which have the chance of winning $1,000.â€
Gambling is considered illegal in the U.S., however social gambling is allowed in the state of Colorado, which means, according to the Coloradoâ€™s Department of Revenue website, â€œthese two criteria â€“â€“ a bonafide social relationship and no profit motive â€“â€“ must be present for a gambling activity to be considered legal â€˜social gambling.â€™â€
In short, if youâ€™re planning on making some money off of your gambling pursuits, youâ€™re doing something illegal.
â€œI donâ€™t think itâ€™s that big of a deal,â€ Zafuto said. â€œI mean, I donâ€™t think Iâ€™ll get arrested or anything. If anything, I think itâ€™s weird that it is illegal. Itâ€™s something I grew up with so, to me, itâ€™s normal. Whereas here itâ€™s almost looked down upon. So I guess in that sense it bothers me.â€
Not all gamblers this Super Bowl season are as serious as Zafuto.
â€œ[I] have two bets going right now,â€ said freshman environmental health major Atisha Morrison. â€œI think it’s a fun way to have some friendly competition between your friends.â€
Collegian writer Bailey Constas can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.