Gambling: The New Tailgating Craze

Poker tailgating Stadiums and arenas in America have evolved over time into elaborate palaces featuring dozens of bathrooms, hundreds of different food options, huge JumboTron mega screens, thousands upon thousands of comfortable seating options and ultra-lavish luxury boxes where affluent guests can sit and eat lobster away of the elements while teams battle it out on the field. (One look at the new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas and you know what we mean.)

Despite the evolution of the sporting stadium inside, one aspect of the game day experience that remains relatively unchanged is the parking lot. For most sports fans they wouldn’t have it any other way.

For many sports fans, going to a sporting event isn’t only about watching the teams on the field of play. Sure, making the trek to show your support is a part of the passion, but many fans show up for one reason and one reason only: tailgating.

Whether we’re talking about an NCAA or NFL game over the weekend, an MLB playoff on a Wednesday night, or even a hockey game in some small town with a single gas station, you can find tailgaters setting up their gear and firing up their grills and doing their best to turn even a preseason match-up into an all-out party. The idea of a tailgate party has been around for decades, and the event has been celebrated in our culture, even featured on shows like the Food Network’s Tailgate Warriors.

Tailgating has certainly expanded since the early days. You can find the usual hot dog grillers, beer-guzzlers and face-painted fanatics eating, drinking and screaming, but you will also find some world-class cuisine, plenty of fun activities, and even poker matches happening right out in the parking lot these days. In fact, gambling has become the newest tailgating craze that’s starting to gain popularity across the nation.

It’s nothing new for many tailgaters. Since Texas Hold ’em became popular in the early 2000’s when ESPN started to feature the World Series of Poker on its main channel, sales on poker tables shot through the roof. Some tailgaters put two and two together and started enjoying a little more than bratwursts before kickoff. But it has expanded well past merely poker and today we’re seeing a trend of gambling start to pick up on the tailgating scene.

Poker tables are plentiful and cheap and they’re really no different from the folding tables most tailgaters use for their food in the first place. It only makes sense that some tailgaters would fork over another $20 for a felt-top table, unfold it in the parking lot, and try to win some money before the game starts.

Poker isn’t the only game being played either. You can find games of blackjack games, roulette and all sorts of other gambling activities going on. And while gambling is still illegal in most states, so is drinking in public. Police and stadium security guards have a habit of looking the other way when it comes to tailgating activities. Just remember to always gamble responsibly if you’re turning your next tailgating party into a blackjack game.

This was a guest post authored by Martin Ostman of Since 2005 Ostman has been covering a range of gambling tournaments both ‘live’ and online for the website. Prior to working with Casino Top Lists, Martin spent several years traveling throughout Europe using the money he earned from playing online poker.