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

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Betting in Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey
Sports betting in Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey | Ethan Miller /Getty Imagesm

Betting in Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey

While full-scale sports betting is legal only in Nevada, the opportunity has opened up on the East Coast.

The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, or PASPA, enacted in 1992, outlaws sports gambling everywhere except in states that had previously legalized sports wagering. This covers Delaware, Montana, Oregon and Nevada.

Delaware took advantage of its exemption and in 2009 authorized betting only on NFL games using parlay, or combined, betting cards. Legislation that would have allowed online sports betting in that state was introduced in early 2016, but didn't gain traction.

Most online betting happens in New Jersey

In November 2013, neighboring New Jersey began offering online poker and other gambling options. According to a University of Las Vegas Center for Gaming Research study, New Jersey online betting accounts for more than 90 percent of the legal U.S. online gambling revenue.

New Jersey also wants to offer legalized sports betting, but on Aug. 9 the state suffered a setback when a federal appeals court struck down a 2014 state law that would have allowed sports betting at casinos and racetracks. Garden State officials are challenging the federal law, taking it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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