Are Super Bowl Squares Illegal In New York?
Now that we are just a couple of weeks away from the Big Game, chances are you are getting bombarded with requests to buy a square.
It could be a friend who is putting together squares to get you entertained now that the Bills won't' be in the Super Bowl. It could be your co-worker asking you to buy a square for their kids' soccer team fundraiser. (If you want a square, let me know. My son Avry's soccer team is selling some). It could be your in-laws having some fun with the family.
But this is the time of year that everyone and their mother is selling Super Bowl Squares. But is it legal to do in New York State?
First off, what is a Super Bowl Square? If you don't know, Super Bowl Squares are basically 10 vertical columns and 10 horizontal rows, both numbered from zero to nine. One Super Bowl team gets the columns and the other gets the rows. You get the numbers associated with your square and if the score matches your numbers you win.
You usually pay a certain price per square anywhere from $1 to $100. Prizes are paid out at the end of the 1st quarter, Halftime, end of the 3rd quarter, and at the end of the game.
So you are thinking, this is gambling right? Pretty much yes, so is it illegal to do in New York now that Sports Gambling is legal? Yes and No.
It all depends on how you are paying out the squares. If you are paying out all the money that you collect then "Social Gambling" is legal in New York. If you are selling squares and are keeping some of the money for yourself, then technically what you are doing is illegal in New York State.
Now if you are selling squares for a charity or non-profit like my son's soccer club, it is legal in New York State.
Of course, most people are paying out a couple of hundred bucks and New York State's attorney general has bigger fish to fry so you probably won't get in trouble, but you could if someone reports you.
Overall, Super Bowl Squares that pay out all the money they collect or if part of the proceeds benefits a non-profit, are legal. So go out and get some squares for a good cause.