Golden Nugget Las Vegas will not take wagers on Houston Rockets

Golden Nugget Las Vegas will not take wagers on Houston Rockets

October 16, 2018 10:06 AM
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With the NBA season tipping off this week, Tony Miller should set the over/under on the number of times one of his Golden Nugget ticket writers gets asked why they don’t have the Houston Rockets on the betting board.

“That’s what we’re dreading,” said Miller, executive director of race and sports.

For the second straight year, the downtown Las Vegas property won’t be allowed to put up any wagers, per Nevada Gaming Control Board rules, that include the Rockets because casino owner Tilman Fertitta also owns the NBA team.

As a result, the Golden Nugget’s future bets are written as “best playoff finish” in the Western Conference and “best finish in playoffs” for the overall champ. The Rockets aren’t included in either.

Caesars had a similar problem booking Boston Celtics’ bets in previous years before former CEO Gary Loveman, a partial owner of the Celtics, left the company.

For the Golden Nugget, taking one of the top contenders in the West out of the equation requires some serious juggling of the odds.

“It affects it quite a bit,” said Miller, executive director of race and sports. “To stay within the same theoretical holds, same margins, we have to tweak the odds, make the favorites a little more tougher for the customer to bet. You could probably go somewhere else and get better odds.”

The Golden State Warriors, for example, are -450 for the Nugget’s “best playoff finish” in the Western Conference while they’re -325 to win the West at the Westgate SuperBook.

The Los Angeles Lakers are +230 in the West at the Nugget and +850 at the SuperBook.

It’s the same scenario for those teams, along with other top contenders, when it comes to the top overall finish in the NBA.

Miller knows the question – “Where are the Rockets?” – is coming now that the NBA season is here, but it can’t be any more than during the Western Conference Final last spring when he couldn’t take bets on the Warriors’ seven-game series against his boss’ team.

The only thing that might be worse is if the Rockets reach the NBA Finals and the Golden Nugget gets shut out of that action.