It is go time for Las Vegas sportsbooks with the calendar turning to August, which is a kind of alert bell signifying there are only four weeks to get all final football season preparations done.
There’s a check list many book directors go through to ensure they maximize earning potential in the final business quarter while also having procedures in place to stay in compliance with internal and state controls.
Is the book clean and ready to go with suitable TV’s? Are all the marketing campaigns and promotions already set in motion? Has the staff been given a refresher course on gaming regulations and has all the necessary hiring been done to properly accommodate longer business hours and more tickets written? The list is much longer, but you get the idea.
A job that’s fun
If looking for employment on the Strip or at local properties, try writing bet tickets for one of the sportsbooks during football season. I’d estimate 50 percent of the seasonal labor increases have been put in motion already, but there’s still more hiring to be done all over town. In addition to competitive hourly wages, there’s also a percentage of tips that come your way based on hours worked. Write a few tickets, keep up with all the scores, enjoy the fast-paced environment with roaring crowds and then make some money on top of it.
Most of the openings are part-time, but if thinking further down the road the book might be a place where you want to make a career, this is where you start. Get your foot in the door anywhere. Absorb all the info you can, and most importantly, listen.
If you have a great attitude, can follow rules and balance your drawer, you’ll move up the ladder quickly. Every book supervisor, manager, director and VP currently in town went through the exact same process.
For the first time since 1998, bettors in Las Vegas can now wager on the Summer Games in Rio thanks to a Nevada Gaming Regulation change last year. And if looking to bet on the most obscure of events, the most stacked odds board in the state is offered at William Hill’s 106 locations. They’ve got 96 betting options for the Brazil event scheduled to begin Friday.
“The action has been better than I thought it would be at this juncture,” said William Hill’s top oddsmaker Nick Bogdanovich. “So I’m expecting once the television coverage starts, with people getting more involved in the stories and hype coming from ESPN, NBC and the radio, you’re going to get a ‘see and react’ type of deal. And now it’s more convenient than ever for people to make a wager as events are happening with the mobile phone app offering everything we have on the board.”
The most popular option of all is whether or not the USA Men’s basketball team wins the Gold. USA has won the last two Olympic Games after finishing third in 2004 in Greece. It’s the only time the USA failed to win Gold since NBA players started playing in the 1992 games in Spain. Bogdanovich currently has the USA -800 to win the Gold and, surprisingly, action isn’t one-sided.
“The most action we’ve had so far is whether or not USA Men’s Basketball wins the gold. It’s been great two-way action. And right after it in volume, with almost the same type of betting patterns occurring, is whether or not USA Women’s Soccer wins the gold. The pros are betting NO (-160) while (squares/public) are betting YES (+140). Brazil to win the Men’s soccer gold (+140) has also attracted nice volume with good two-way action.”
Bogdanovich said they’ve been getting plenty of action on USA (-600) and China (3/1) to win the most Gold Medals because 110 of the 387 athletes on the Russian squad being banned for doping. They’ve also got a prop with USA -8.5 Gold Medals vs. China.
The timing for Olympic wagering couldn’t have been better for the sportsbooks. August usually gets one full week of college football action, but this season the first week is in September. Having revenues from the Olympic category will certainly soften the disparity in month over month ledgers.
• The first look at NFL competition is Sunday night in Canton, Ohio for the Hall of Fame Game where the Packers and Colts are a steady pick’em with the total set at 36. CG Technology opened Green Bay as 2.5-point favorites two weeks ago and is currently down to -1.
• William Hill was scheduled to announce Monday a college football contest based on pointspreads with a $500 entry fee. There should be some interest throughout the state being the only one out there with a high-end college-only format.
• The Westgate SuperBook opened odds Sunday to win the 2017 UEFA Champions League Final with Barcelona the 3/1 favorite. Bayern Munich is next at 4/1 and defending champion Real Madrid at 9/2. Celtic is the long shot at 500/1 odds. The Final is being played June 3 in Cardiff, Wales, which automatically has me circling the date as a possible summer destination. On Monday they opened 2017 Masters odds with Jason Day the 7/1 favorite.
• The Golden Nugget offered a unique prop last week asking what city will have more postseason wins combining Cleveland’s NBA and MLB teams against the Bay Area entry of The Warriors and Giants. San Francisco (60-44), which is going for its fourth straight World Series title in even years, is the -120 favorite and currently has a 2-game lead over the Dodgers in the NL West.
The Indians (59-42) have a 4.5-game lead over Detroit in the AL Central. All bets are action regardless if either team makes the playoffs. Under the scenario if both MLB teams didn’t make it, Cleveland would win the bet based on the Cavs winning one more postseason game than the Warriors.
• With Tom Brady not being able to escape Roger Goodell’s wrath for the second straight year, the four-game deflategate suspension will finally stand. The South Point offered a prop on what the exact Patriots record would be in those four games behind back-up QB Jimmy Garoppolo.
If they don’t win any of the four, you can get 20/1 odds. One win pays 6/1, two wins pays 2/1 and three (the favorite) is 9/5. If the Pats win all four, it pays 5/1. The first week they’ll play at Arizona, then have three straight home games against the Dolphins, Texans and Bills.