Gambling on the big game? Don't do it in Arizona

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX -- Super Bowl XLIX is just over two weeks from kickoff and as the excitement in the Valley heats up, so does the illegal activity surrounding the game. 

Arizona’s new attorney general is reminding people that most forms of sports betting are off limits in this state. In fact, nearly all sports gambling outside Las Vegas is outside the law, according to Mark Brnovich. 

Brnovich said online betting has proliferated in the last few years. Many websites offer odds and allow people to bet on any game from anywhere in the world. But using those sites is 100 percent illegal within the borders of Arizona. 

“The big thing is that it's illegal to gamble online,” Brnovich said. “So if you’re going to a website and you’re making bets on the Super Bowl, that is illegal under state law.”

Brnovich, who previously served as the state’s gaming director, said last year's Super Bowl saw $120 million legally wagered in Vegas -- and between $8 billion and $10 billion in illegal bets everywhere else.

If you live in Arizona, Brnovich said there are pretty much only two ways to legally bet on the big game:

1. Physically go to Las Vegas (calling a bookie doesn't count).

“If you went up to Vegas, made a bet in a casino, then came back down to Arizona and won, you could mail your ticket in to the casino and they could mail you your money back, and that would be perfectly legal,” Brnovich said.

2. What lawyers call “social gambling” --  which is just a fancy way to describe betting with friends. 

If you’re still confused or looking for further clarification on what is legal, Brnovich said a good rule of thumb is betting that includes a third party making money is probably illegal.