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Have you noticed a sudden shift in how sports betting is being received around the country thanks to some positive publicity?


We have ESPN College Gameday and Fox Sports talking about point spreads on college football games, the NBA commissioner is cozying up to the idea of sports betting, an NHL team is possibly moving to Las Vegas and New Jersey has told their race tracks and casinos to open the betting windows for sports action regardless of what federal law says.

It’s amazing how far we have come since the turn of the century when Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz) campaigned hard against college sports betting in Nevada. We were supposedly exploiting the kids at that time, but now networks and news agencies are giving people want they want – more sports betting talk. It’s beautiful, and I can’t wait to see what the future has in store.

Once New Jersey starts taking wagers, then the rest of the dominoes will fall with every state wanting their own book, except for maybe Utah. The big winners in this whole climate change across America are those books and casinos currently licensed in Nevada. I think the leagues will eventually be happy when getting a piece of the action through TV signal fees. If no signal, then the book experience becomes far less exciting, but bettors can still watch at home.

When Cantor Gaming (now CG Technology) came to Las Vegas, it was a sign of the future we’re seeing now. And it was further enhanced when William Hill brought their Union Jack to set up shop in the States. They both knew this day was coming and the type of action they’ll be taking if getting multiple states in operation will have them being a giant in the gaming world when the dominoes fall – California next?

Hey Ladbrokes, come join the party. Everyone is here and it’s getting real interesting on our side of the pond.

Every current major casino operation in Las Vegas should be jumping at the chance to expand their brand, especially those with mobile phone technology. The MGM brand could be the biggest if they wanted to, and can you imagine Jay Kornegay getting his style of odds all over the country like he has at his one location at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook?

The South Point, Station Casinos and Coasts (Boyd Gaming) all have mobile phone apps, and you know Caesars Entertainment has something up their sleeve.

The great thing for a company expanding a sports book elsewhere is that it’s relatively cheap to do if you are looking for a quick opening until real plans can be made. It doesn’t take much cash to start like an entire casino does. Basically, you nail down a counter inside an existing casino, install a few flat screens, wire some data cable in, get a few cameras above the cash drawers, hire a couple writers, bring some experienced supervisors from Nevada, and boom, you’re up and running within a few days.

Of course there is lots of paperwork, and it really isn’t that easy, but you get the idea. It would be surprising if more Las Vegas book operations didn’t jump in and let their mobile devices eventually wheel-barrow the cash for them with little effort as each state comes around. However, big Nevada casino operations might not want to mess around with federal law. Let the first wave of action take place at someone else’s property until the waters calm, and then lightly stepping in.

A few predictions

William Hill will take the first bet at Monmouth Park soon, like within the next two weeks. CG Technology will set up shop at the Meadowlands, and then shortly after, you’ll see several kiosk-type operations scattered throughout the state.

When figures start flowing in, we may see companies like Caesars (Harrah’s), the Golden Nugget and MGM Resorts take an interest and put a book in their own Atlantic City casino. I’m not always right on my predictions, but I did go 5-0 in college football Saturday. However, I also picked the Broncos to win the Super Bowl.

Books clobber bettors

Joe Public had seven games they liked in Sunday’s Week 2 NFL action, and only one – New England –covered the number. Once the Saints lost to Cleveland, 26-24, the rout was on for the second consecutive Sunday.

“The Saints losing were key to our entire day because of knocking out so many teasers and money-line parlays,” said MGM Resorts race and sports VP Jay Rood. “That was the game that was tied into other games throughout the schedule the most. Had they covered, tied to the Patriots covering, we might have been in some trouble heading into the late games.”

It was in the second wave that the books got real greedy by sweeping all four public games with the most lopsided parlay action. Between the Chargers, Rams, Chiefs and Jets, it was lights out for the public and a slam dunk for the house.

Just when bettors finally got back up on their feet with a few extra dollars from the ATM machine to throw on the 49ers in the get-back Sunday night game, they got slugged in the stomach again for the final knockout blow when the Bears won outright.

It’s really not that graphic, and no one is slugging anyone, but it’s always fun to paint the face of a villain on something when losing cash. Hang in there guys, it only gets better.

Broncos-Seahawks II

For the first time since 1997, we get a meeting of Super Bowl participants matching up the following regular season when Seattle, the 43-8 winner, hosts the Broncos. On one side you’ve got Peyton Manning who is the best regular season quarterback ever, and on the other side you’ve got one of the greatest home field advantages ever seen. Seattle comes off a rare loss, while Denver looked shaky at home against the Chiefs. What’s it going to come down to?

When the Seahawks crushed the Packers in Week 1, the Westgate LV Super Book added a point to their Seattle rating. What was -3.5 all summer in their NFL ‘Games of the Year’ offerings quickly jumped to -4.5 in their early Week 3 numbers last Tuesday. When they reset the numbers on Sunday night, even after the Seahawks, 30-21, loss at San Diego, the number was still -4.5.

While I’d like to side with Denver getting points in this spot, I don’t know if they expended too much emotional energy in their Week 1 preseason game where Denver really had revenge on their mind. That game was at Denver, where they won and covered, 21-16. But something may have died from the Super Bowl there. That awful loss will linger forever, but some of the desire to make amends may be gone now.

The Seattle home edge makes the difference here. Denver moves the ball and plays well, but Seattle pulls out the win. My suggestion would be Seattle on the money-line and OVER the total.

Micah Roberts is a former Las Vegas race and sports book director, one of The Linemakers on , and longtime motorsports columnist and sports analyst at GamingToday. Follow Micah on Twitter @MicahRoberts7 Contact Micah at [email protected].

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