Rovell: Rejoice Indiana, You Can Now Legally Bet on the Gatorade Color Prop for Super Bowl LIV
Al Perreira, Getty Images.
The loophole of what legal sportsbooks can offer versus their illegal offshore competitors is rapidly closing.
Monday marked another day in that battle as the Indiana Gaming Commission approved operators for being able to take bets on everything from the coin toss to the color of the Gatorade shower/bath to who the Super Bowl MVP would thank first.
The Nevada Gaming Control Board had long established that you could only bet on something that happened on the field of play. So illegal offshore books would offer such novelty props — they still are alone on some including the length of the national anthem and halftime song-and-wardrobe choices — to garner significant publicity.
But Nevada started to slowly change, allowing betting on more exotic events and eventually, four years ago, started opening up things that have elements of human control, including the Heisman Trophy, MVP award voting and NFL Draft props.
In Indiana, Pennsylvania, New Jersey or West Virginia? Check out FanDuel, where Action Network users get a risk-free bet up to $500.
The legalization of sports betting outside of Nevada has further pushed the boundaries. Last year, New Jersey approved the “Gatorade color bet” for the Super Bowl, a favorite among the offshore books, as well as whether Tom Brady would retire after the game. Such bets are usually accompanied by preset limits, understanding that the exposure can be significantly higher if insider info changed hands.
Indiana’s move means, whether it was intended to do so or not, that legal market will more closely than ever mirror what’s available at illegal offshore books.
And while there’s no guarantee that making betting legal in the United States will completely damage the illegal business, steps like this, especially around high-profile events like the Super Bowl, will certainly help.
I’m proud to say that no one has covered these types of props over the years more than I have, so I know exactly how much publicity they generate, especially when there’s controversy.
In 2013, the Gatorade prop bet ended in “no action” (bets were refunded) after Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh avoided the shower/bath altogether. The following year, the Seahawks dumped a combination of colors of coach Pete Carroll – orange and yellow. Oddsmakers paid out both.
Here’s a full list of what the Indiana Gaming Commission authorized on Tuesday for the Super Bowl:
- Coin toss outcome
- Player to correctly call the coin toss
- Team to win the coin toss and the game
- The color of the Gatorade shower
- Who will the Super Bowl MVP thank first?
- Will Player X retire after the game?
- Will there be a flea flicker?
So with the Gatorade Bath and the coin toss now on the board, there are only a few more to go, and, unfortunately, these are some of the most fun ones: the length of the Super Bowl National Anthem and anything to do with the Halftime Show.
Oddsmakers for illegal offshore books analyze any and all National Anthems available from the singer to come up with the total. Then they set the rules. Over time, they decided the song officially starts when the singer starts with “Oh,” not the musical accompaniment. And, over the years, it has been established that it ends at the first brave, just in case there are other “braves.”
Don’t laugh. In 2011, not only did Christina Aguilera mess up the words, she also had two braves. The stop watch was clicked after the first one was uttered. The same thing was true last year, as Gladys Knight had two braves. Aguilera’s anthem was a winner for those who had the under. Knight’s rendition, because the second “brave” added 11 seconds, would have given the over bettors the win had that rule not been in place.
And then there was that time in 2007, when at his National Anthem press conference at the Super Bowl, I asked fellow Long Islander Billy Joel if he was aware he could bet on his time. Joel was shocked. I don’t know if he ended up betting on it, but he still has the fastest time in Super Bowl recorded history – 1 minute, 30 seconds.