Sports betting options expanding

Jul 17, 2018 3:00 AM

The menu of sports betting options in Nevada casinos and elsewhere will continue to expand as special interests scramble to keep pace with changing times. Imagination promises to take the business to places it has never been before.

We will have to see what lawmakers can be persuaded to do. Expansion may awaken interest in concepts such as the “private entity” wagering, which is seen as possibly appealing to hedge funds. But such ideas may depend on how quickly sports betting is approved in New York and other centers of big money.

Nevada-based sportsbook operators and the technology companies that service them are likely to benefit from expansion that occurs thanks to the Supreme Court overturning the law that had restricted sports betting’s growth beyond Nevada.

Las Vegas gaming attorney Greg Gemignani of the Dickinson Wright law firm explained, “Creating betting lines that allow books to make a profit is an art form, not just a matter of punching computer keys. Now there are lots of people happy to bet, but until now they were breaking the law. The books taking their bets are probably not going to get the necessary state licenses.”

But there is enough licensed expertise in Nevada to get the job done elsewhere. And this Nevada talent is already employed by companies operating casinos across the country, companies like Boyd Gaming, Penn, Caesars and, well, the list goes on and on.

Other games in casinos have a theoretical win percentage, but that is not the case with sports betting. Gemignani points out that Delaware tried a sports lottery back in the 1970s but abandoned it because the state was paying out more than it was taking in. When it revisited the sports wagering concept by allowing parlay bets on NFL games William Hill was brought in to run the operation. The U.S. operations of Hill are in Nevada.

Don’t hold your breath waiting for Congress to do anything useful. The expansion of sports betting is definitely coming but it will be on a state-by-state basis, and as this occurs you can bet the powers that be, according to Gemignani, will be hearing from experienced Nevadans willing to lend a hand.

Nevada operators have much experience with geolocation technology and it is likely this will be required as each jurisdiction decides what it will allow within its borders.

The resort bosses who have shared their thinking with me – as long as I don’t quote them because opportunities are still being carefully considered – say they are studying the full range of possibilities. Yes, you never know where imagination will take you when it is given free rein.

In the meantime, Las Vegans are still marveling at the first year success of the Knights and the possibilities for additional pro leagues.

“Hockey… who would have thought we would see so much interest in it here in the desert,” says Art Manteris, VP of race and sports operations at Station Casinos?

The creative thinkers responsible for the Golden Knights and their