Badgered by 55

September 03, 2002 1:19 PM
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A state law is a state law, even if there are less than three minutes to payoff.

"It has happened before, but never this close to the 55-minute rule," Imperial Palace race and sports director Jay Kornegay said of the suspended Wisconsin-UNLV game Saturday night.

The visiting Badgers were credited with a 27-7 victory after a transformer blew at Sam Boyd Stadium causing the lights to go out with 7:41 left in regulation time. Had the mishap occurred two minutes and 41 seconds later, the game would have been official under Nevada state law and winning tickets could have been cashed.

"It’s a house rule that is in place to protect the gambler," Kornegay said. "The 55-minute rule in football was approved years ago by the Gaming Board. Other than some lightning conditions, I could not recall a game ever coming that close to enforcing the rule in my 14 years in the business."

There were some angry Wisconsin fans that were denied collecting winning tickets, but had the score been closer they might have sung a different tune.

"We closed the game at Wisconsin —5½ and 58 (total)," Kornegay said. "There was enough time for a couple of scores, though it certainly looked like the Badgers were headed to the cover."

The "Rebel Refund" climaxed a profitable opening week for the books in college football.

"Five days of football is always great for the books," Kornegay said. "We even had the Hawaii game (won by UH 61-26 as a 22-point favorite)."

The books won big on California, Tennessee and Florida. The bettors did well with Iowa State.

The big movement in Week 1 of the NFL this week involves the debut of the expansion Houston Texans at home against Dallas. The Cowboys opened as a 3-point favorite back in May, but the game could wind up at —7 before kickoff.

"There has been big Cowboys money all summer," he said.

ALSO: Kornegay predicted that the Progressive 6-race Saturday contest would be hit this week. Last Saturday’s winner was at 151 points, one horse away from hitting the target number of 160. The contests involves three races each at one of the New York and California tracks, in this case Saratoga and Del Mar. The Progressive has $3,500 at stake.

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MAJOR MOVES OF THE WEEK

Game Open Winner

Cal —6½ over Baylor Cal —9 Cal (books)

Tenn —31 over Wyoming Ten —34 Ten (books)

Florida —30 over UAB Fla —34 Fla (books)

Iowa St —22 over Kansas ISU —19½ ISU (bettors)