Sports betting could be on the verge of a renaissance

June 07, 2016 3:00 AM


SportsbookSports betting and race/sportsbooks are on a fast track to who knows where or when. A new version of Daily Fantasy Sports is now before the Gaming Commission plus eSports is also being considered and refined.

In the near future we will be offered betting on robots, robot racing, fighting, robot team sports. It’s going to happen. We’ll have the Daily Robot Form as a supplement in the Daily Racing Form. Now Las Vegas is abuzz over a possible Raiders move to our city.

Last column I went south of the popular, party line hype and said in my opinion Las Vegas won’t get an NFL franchise till the rest of the country gets legal sports betting. The sign on the local bandwagon says Las Vegas will get a multi-billion dollar stadium and fill it every game.

It doesn’t take much of a thought process to push that popular but arguably suspect propaganda around.

I personally think an NFL franchise would do reasonably well here, our hotels would obviously benefit and that success ripples out across the rest of Las Vegas.

There are two parts in play in this scenario, the rest of the country legalizing sports betting and getting the NFL’s blessing. Let’s take them in order.

Sports betting nationwide will happen, but who gets their bureaucratic mitts on it, the Feds or the States? The Feds will be in the mix even if the States get to handle it separately. The NFL is the only league with any influence in this debate. Sure, the NBA is behind it. MLB and the NHL are lukewarm at best.

All three need a boost but they’re on the sidelines. Not so with the NFL. They have a perfectly fine-tuned relation with sports betting. The self righteous, hypocritical NFL says it is against gambling wink, wink and wink.

That’s only because they know it’s there, they’re smart enough to understand it propels much of their popularity and as such they can have it both ways. They have the betting crowd captured while they stay out of it. Something bad happens and “we don’t have anything to do with it, we’re against gambling.” Why would the NFL endorse a franchise for Las Vegas before the rest of the country gets it, thus giving them much needed cover?

So in five years or so the Feds repeal the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which logically happens to involve nationwide sports betting. With it still in place it will be a circular firing squad.

Now what does the holier-than-thou NFL get out of endorsing sports betting? It has to be money, lots of it. Sports betting, even with smart people running it, wins around 2.5%-4.5% in a good year. Does the NFL get their cut out of that? Not viable to a bookmaking operation.

State run or Federal run, our beloved lawmakers won’t be able to keep their hands away and out of the pot. The new revenue stream will be the go-to guy till it’s impossible to operate a profitable sportsbook. I can see the headline now: Jets Win by Three State of New Jersey Gets Middled for $63M.

The only way it will have a chance to work, to succeed, is to let private business run and book the action, tax it like in Nevada and keep the lawmakers the hell out of the way. If not, our genius lawmakers will tax them out of action while making stupid (sic) gambling related rule changes.

Bottom line: I hope we get an NFL team but it’s a three-team parlay with the NFL, Las Vegas (sports betting/gambling) and the country legalizing it in my opinion. It’s all related. It’s not as simple as dressing up like Darth Vader and going to a Raiders game.

Will Las Vegas get an NFL franchise within seven years? YES -450; NO + 350.

Scotty Schettler began his Las Vegas journey in 1968. By the time he quit the race and sports book business he had booked over $1.5 billion for different employers. He says he knows where most of the cans are buried. His book,  is available on Contact Scotty at