Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak made a bold coronavirus decision last week to shut down casinos, putting human safety ahead of the state’s main source of income, which meant every sportsbook also had to shut its doors as well.
But a few books such as William Hill, Circa Sports and Caesars Palace decided to keep its mobile apps running while offering more to the wagering menu in this unprecedented time of no major sports leagues operating.
The books still running apps had to dig deep internationally to find leagues running that they may not have otherwise extended themselves to if the other leagues weren’t shut down. For the first time I can ever remember in Nevada, Sumo wrestling (Haru Basho 2020) from Japan was offered by William Hill sportsbooks across all their locations.
Caesars Palace runs its mobile app operation for Nevada, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania from its Las Vegas offices and sportsbook director Jeff Davis has been offering stuff they’ve never done before.
“We’re doing Australian Rules Football and we’re probably going to do the mini-golf tournaments next week,“ Davis said. “Other states, we’re doing some weird soccer and handball.”
William Hill was also offering the Aussie Rules Football, as well as National Rugby League 2, and MMA action with the Cage Warriors 113 held Friday in Manchester, England. But the menu dwindled when it was announced Sunday that Australian football was suspending its season.
They’ve also gotten in-depth with the NFL earlier than usual with props hitting upon topical subjects like the NFL Draft, Tom Brady, the Patriots, and Buccaneers. More regular-season wins this season? The Buccaneers -0.5 (-120) vs. Patriots +0.5 (EVEN).
Circa Sports director Matt Metcalf said he was pleasantly surprised with the action and win on some of the sports that include Australia A League and Belarusian Premier League soccer.
“Derek (Circa owner Stevens) has tasked us with trying to be as creative as possible and make as many markets as we’re able to,” Metcalf said. “We’ve had multiple professional bettors reach out to us saying they don’t care what the sport is just to keep making markets and I couldn’t agree more with that request.
“We are here to accept wagers on anything we are legally able to and allow for customers to try and make money off those events whether it’s Australian football or our attempt at iRacing.”
Metcalf worked hard on getting practice information and past stats on NASCAR’s iRacing Series to post odds on esports for the first time in Nevada, but the Gaming Control Board told them to take it down after being open two hours for action. The GCB wants to review it more because the request was sudden, but it should be good to go moving forward.
The odds they posted on Sunday’s Dixie Vodka 150 at the virtual Homestead-Miami Speedway were impressive and they got a lot of buzz nationally from the drivers and writers on social media. The race televised live on FS1 was the No. 1 trending topic on Twitter as it was running. Denny Hamlin, at 15-1 odds, won a thriller passing Dale Earnhardt Jr. on the last lap.
These books are making the most of the downtime and possibly creating more interest in these new events for the future when the other sports all come back. If a bettor feels they’ve come up with an edge in Rugby, why bet the NBA or MLB as much even when it is back?
“Obviously, the more popular the sport is the more we’ll cater to those markets but I’m not here to tell people what to bet on,” Metcalf said. “It’s up to us to let the money speak.”