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Obama Says He Wagers On The Super Bowl, Will 'Pardon' Himself For Sports Betting

Interview With Stephen Colbert Highlights His Love For Sports


It has been known for a long time that President Obama is a sports fan, but he arguably took it to another level this past weekend in a pre-taped interview on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

Obama and Colbert acted like it was live, as the segment aired immediately after the Denver Broncos’ victory over the Carolina Panthers in the Super Bowl, according to Sports Illustrated. Pretending that it was possible they had both just watched the game, Colbert asked Obama to confirm that he saw it.

“Of course I did,” Obama said. “After every Super Bowl, I call the winning team to congratulate them. And sometimes I call the losing team, especially if I bet on them.”

Colbert informed him that betting on the Super Bowl outside of a Nevada sports book is technically illegal, to which Obama joked, “I’m the president. I hereby pardon myself.”

Last year, there was a report that quoted the president on betting on golf. Obama said that former professional baseball player Derek Jeter and the editor of the Las Vegas Sun “stole money” from him. Obama was saying he got hustled. Obama also hasn’t been shy about his NCAA brackets.

Despite his fondness for some friendly wagering, Obama raised a lot of eyebrows in 2010 when he told a crowd of people at a town hall event that “you don’t blow a bunch of cash on Vegas when you’re trying to save for college.” He was immediately blasted by Nevada officials.

Nevada casinos saw a record $132 million bet on Super Bowl 50, but that pales in comparison to bets made outside of the Silver State. According to the American Gaming Association, roughly $4.2 billion was bet by Americans on the big game. Lawmakers in at least two U.S. states want the 1992 federal law pertaining to sports betting repealed so that their respective casinos can take bets, with the AGA actively lobbying on Capitol Hill for such a change.