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In Las Vegas, Phillies win -- and tie

Oct 28, 2008 6:32 PM

by Mark Mayer |

Depending on which sports book you bet Game 5 of the World Series, the outcome was either a win, a loss or still in progress. If that sounds confusing, you’re not alone.

"Just when you think you’ve seen it all, you haven’t," said Mark Tutino, race and sports book supervisor at MGM Grand. "I’ve been in this business 21 years and never experienced anything like that."

What Tutino experienced was a rain-suspended situation after 5 1/2 innings. Tampa Bay had scored a run in the top of the sixth to pull even when heavy rain forced a postponement until Wednesday night. In most books, Philadelphia was declared a 2-1 winner since the Phillies were not able to bat in the bottom of the sixth, resulting in the score -- in betting terms -- reverting back to the previous inning.

Most books followed a long-standing Nevada "house rule" and paid Phillies tickets as winners, while Rays tickets lost and over/under totals were declared void since the game was not completed. However, that wasn’t the decision at MGM, which considered the game tied 2-2 and the payout to be issued at the completion of Game 5, now to be held on Wednesday night at 8:30 p.m., because of the weather.

"Had this been a regular season game, we would have paid out winning tickets for Philadelphia," Tutino said. "We decided in postseason play that if this situation would come up where a game was tied, we would pay out winning tickets upon completion, whenever that might be."

With most sports books paying Phillies Game 5 tickets as winners, the question arises over whether the Phillies have now "won" the World Series, four games to one. Also left open to question is the prop bet – Phillies to win the World Series in five games.

Most sports books directors said they wouldn't pay off World Series bets until an actual winner has been declared by Major League Baseball. But a few suggested bettors might be able to make a case before Nevada's Gaming Control Board that their tickets are winners based on the "house rule" that gave Philadelphia the win in Game 5.

Another sports book director said that holders of Tampa Bet tickets for Game 5 might even make a winning argument before the Board that their tickets are winners, if in fact, the Rays go on to win the extended game.

GamingToday is following up on these conflicting issues and will post news updates as they become available.

 Regarding the extended game, the Las Vegas Hilton SuperBook was among several places putting up lines on Game 5 as it begins from the bottom of the sixth. The Hilton lists Philadelphia as a -155 favorite with Tampa Bay a +145 underdog. MGM, in addition to Monday night’s Game 5 line, also included one Tuesday from the last of the sixth with Philly a -160 favorite and Tampa Bay a +140 underdog.

A spokesman at Caesars Palace said that the book was also considering putting up a Game 5 line starting from the bottom of the sixth. Those bets will only be sides, with no totals, run line or listed pitchers. And, the payout will be made upon completion of the game.

Should the Series extend to a Game 6 or 7, things should be back to normal. Tampa Bay plays its games indoors at Tropicana Field.