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Super Bowl pool anyone? Sports betting illegal in most places, but widely practiced

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Super Bowl-sized betting
Super Bowl-sized betting | Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Super Bowl-sized betting

For fans of the Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots, Super Bowl LI is the culmination of their die-hard support. For the rest of the world, it is a chance to cash in on myriad wagers.

Each year, when the top two NFL teams meet for the season's final contest, around $10 billion is bet worldwide.

2016 Super Bowl bets were record-breaking

In the United States, legal sports books in Nevada account for part of that money. The Nevada Gaming Control Board reported that a record $132.5 million was bet on the 2016 Super Bowl at Nevada casinos.

Legal sports betting in Nevada, however, is just a fraction of the domestic wagering picture. The Silver State's legal sports wagering represents less than 1 percent of all sports betting nationwide, according to the American Gaming Association, which estimates $88 billion in illegal bets will have been placed on NFL and college football games this season.

But all bets -- legal, illegal or even among co-workers dropping a few bucks in the office pool -- share one thing: Winning bets are taxable income.

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