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Marc Meltzer

Marc Meltzer

Marc Meltzer grew up on the mean streets of the South Bronx. He's the rare combination of Yankees and Jets fan which explains his often contrarian point of view. Marc is a freelance writer and social media consultant. Writing about steak, booze, gambling and Las Vegas is a tough job but somebody has to do it.

Now The Pittsburgh Pirates Think They Deserve A Sports Betting ‘Integrity’ Fee

Marc Meltzer June 22, 2018
Pirates

Leagues asking for an integrity fee from sports betting has been all the rage this year. Everyone wants their share. The arguments for “integrity” has been so poor that some leagues have switched to a more royalty-based fee. The leagues DGAF what the fee is called, they just want that money.

Leagues may have been first in line looking for a cut of the revenue from sports betting but more entities are stepping in. Leagues, teams, and casino operators recently shared their thoughts on the matter in Pennsylvania. They each spoke up about how revenue from sports betting should be divided.

The inclusion of specific organizations requesting a handout from gambling money went to another level in Pennsylvania. Not only did a professional sports franchise ask for some of the many riches derived from a fee for sports gambling in the state, but they asked for more.

The Pittsburgh Pirates have stated that they want their share of the integrity/royalty fee that Major League Baseball may receive. Fair enough. They went on to say that they also need more money from the state taxes to keep their stadium operational.

From the Pirates:

“Providing a professional sports product is a costly endeavor…The capital needs at PNC Park are significant and unfortunately are much higher than the current funds allocated to them by our landlord.”

“It stands to reason that a portion of the revenue collected from sports wagering should be allocated to the maintenance and capital upkeep of PNC Park and the other sports-related facilities in Pennsylvania which provide for sports wagering in the first place.”

You can see the full unedited letter at Legal Sports Report. Their 17-year-old gift of a stadium isn’t old enough to be considered a millennial. However, PNC Park could already be falling apart. On Wednesday night there was a little backlog in the Pirates dugout.

Oopsie! Someone done clogged up the drains inside the dugout leading to the Pirates clubhouse.

There’s no doubting that PNC Park is one of the most beautiful baseball stadiums in the country. The Pirates have been asking the state for funds to maintain the stadium for the past five to seven years. Despite being a profitable business, it probably makes sense that the state pay for upkeep since the residents of Pennsylvania paid to build the stadium.

The good news for the Pirates is that the Pennsylvania state tax on sports gambling is so high that there might actually be money available to them when sports betting becomes legal in the state. Of course, a sportsbook operator has to decide to take bets in Pennsylvania.

It might be difficult to make a profit with the potentially high tax and integrity/royalty fee. Right now, the tax rate proposed for sports betting is 34%. New Jersey, for comparison, has a tax rate for sports betting between 8.5% and 14.5% depending on how and where the bets are placed.

2018 NFL Betting: CG Technologies Releases Win Totals, Player Props, Playoff Odds

Marc Meltzer June 17, 2018
NFL Betting 2018

Football season never ends. The NFL has cleverly created a calendar that keeps the league in the news even when games aren’t being played. Sportsbook operators know that the majority of sports bettors are fans first and keep up with this calendar. Almost as soon as there’s news about games released you can head to the sportsbook and place some wagers.

The NFL announced the schedule in April and a couple sportsbooks had Week 1 lines ready to go right away. There is more money wagered on football in Nevada than all other sports combined and the sportsbooks are ready to fire out wagering opportunities ASAP.

NFL betting opportunities exploded this week as CG Technology released a slew of betting options. They’re often the first sportsbook in Las Vegas to open betting opportunities for their customers and they don’t disappoint with pages of NFL betting opportunities.

CG Technologies operates sportsbooks in eight Las Vegas casinos including Cosmopolitan, Hard Rock, M Resort, Palms, The Palazzo, Silverton, Tropicana, and The Venetian. Like most sportsbooks in Nevada, they also have a mobile sports wagering app if their customers can’t make it down to a casino. Here are the new NFL betting opportunities available.

  • Over/Under Season Win Totals
  • Will They Make The Playoffs?
  • Odds For Every Division Winner
  • Prop Bets For Quarterback, Wide Receiver, and Running Back

According to Matt Holt, Vice President of Business Development at CG Technology, the maximum limit varies by the bet type.

  • $10,000 for Division Odds
  • $1,000 for Season win totals
  • $1,000 for Yes/ no make playoffs
  • $500 for player props

The maximum bet limits should increase in a week or so as numbers settle and other sportsbook open similar wagering opportunities.

The season win totals usually get most of the attention from the mainstream media but there are a lot of ways to get down on the NFL way before the season starts. There are individual player prop bets that you don’t often see this far in advance of the season.

Season Win Totals

Teams of interest include:

  • Lowest win total: Cleveland Browns – Over/Under 4.5
  • Highest win total: New England Patriots – Over/Under 12
  • My team: New York Jets – Over/Under 5

NFL Totals

Will They Make The Playoffs?

No, these aren’t 50/50 bets after the juice is added. Notable teams of interest:

  • New York Jets: No -2500, Yes +1100
  • Jacksonville Jaguars: No – Even, Yes -120
  • New England Patriots: Yes -1100, No +700

NFL Playoffs

Division Winners

Division winner odds of note include:

  • AFC East
  • NFC West

NFL Divisions

NFL Player Props

The quarterback props all have short odds. You might be able to find an angle for a running back or wide receiver prop by looking at offensive schemes and play design.

NFL Props 1

NFL Props 2

Lights On: Vegas Soccer Club Partnering With Sportsbook Is The Future

Marc Meltzer June 15, 2018
Vegas

On Wednesday, Major League Baseball told sportsbooks and casinos that their ad dollars aren’t welcome on their TV network. Meanwhile, in Las Vegas, a United Soccer League team welcomed a sportsbook operator to the party. The Las Vegas Lights Football (soccer) Club announced a partnership with sportsbook operator William Hill.

The partnership is a fairly simple one. Las Vegas Lights fans that sign up for a new William Hill account with a $100 deposit and use the promo code “LIGHTS” will receive a $5 free bet. A 5% new deposit bonus may not seem like much but it’s more than some other sports betting apps in Las Vegas offer. It’s also a unique offering that no other sportsbook operator has implemented.

Partnerships between professional sports leagues and franchises and sportsbooks aren’t a big deal around the world. However, the United States has been very…very…very slow to adapt to sportsbook and casino operators. MLB isn’t the only league that has issues with sportsbook operators. The NFL has been fighting with itself over the years about accepting advertising from casinos.

Ironically, the same leagues are very cool with DFS ownership and partnerships. Things will change with the leagues as legal sports betting expands and takes shape. The major leagues in the US will be forced to open their minds with regards to sportsbook and casino partnerships as sports betting continues to become more popular around the country.

Las Vegas Lights football club is fun

The partnership with William Hill isn’t their first with a casino. If you watch Las Vegas Lights games on in person or YouTube, you’ll see signage for the Plaza Casino in downtown Las Vegas. The Plaza not only advertises at the stadium but they’re home to post-game parties. Players can also win casino chips from the Plaza for scoring goals. The Lights are lit! They’ve also partnered with NuWu Cannabis Marketplace. This is how you operate a team in Las Vegas!

Las Vegas Lights and William Hill

It’s probably not a coincidence that the Las Vegas Lights announced this new partnership with William Hill. The sportsbook operator handles the sportsbook at The Plaza. William Hill is one of the few sportsbook operators in Las Vegas who offer lines for Las Vegas Lights USL games. They actually offer pre-game wagering, in-game wagering, and futures for the entire league. The Las Vegas Lights are currently 60-1 to win the championship.

These partnerships the Lights has with William Hill can be seen as groundbreaking. No other team or league have been so focused on enhancing the in-game environment for fans through gambling. Earlier this year the owner of the Lights, Brett Lashbrook, was giddy when speaking with The Lines about in-game betting at their matches.

The names may change around the country but the casino, sportsbook, and legal marijuana partnerships could be a sign of the future of professional sports marketing.

Pro Leagues Better Be Ready For Injuries And Conspiracy Theories

Marc Meltzer June 11, 2018
sports betting injuries

Pro sports leagues are asking for a fee from sportsbook operators that take wagers on their events. Regardless of what they end up calling the rights fees, the leagues stepped in a big one by bringing up the issue of integrity as a fee for their game. The states that have legalized gambling so far have disregarded this request, but the damage has started.

Most sports bettors and fans have always assumed that there was some kind of integrity in the games they bet on. Everyone expects an honest competition unless they’re watching the WWE. Bettors and fans assume that there’s a high level of integrity in sports and it would be nice if that’s the case. However, a couple of recent events remind us that not everything in sports is transparent and therefore lack total integrity:

  • LeBron James mystery injury
  • Julian Edelman PED suspension
  • What’s a catch? What’s a charge?

LeBron James hides injury

Apparently, LeBron James was upset after an awful Game 1 loss to the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals. He was so mad that he (allegedly) punched a whiteboard and possibly broke his hand. The anger is understandable and so is concealing an injury from an opponent. Teams and players often hide injuries from opponents.

Injury disclosure is a bigger deal than ever before. This kind of secrecy or gamesmanship isn’t fit for a league that wants transparency. The NBA is seeking an integrity/royalty/rights fee from sportsbook operators that take wagers on their games. As of now, they plan to offer nothing beyond the same product sportsbooks and bookies have been taking wagers on legally and illegally.

Julian Edelman suspension

Last week, the NFL suspended New England Patriots receiver Julian Edelman for the first four games of the season for PED use. Well, kinda. The positive drug test was triggered by an unrecognized substance. Nobody really knows if it was actually for a performance-enhancing drug or just something the testing company doesn’t test for. Whatever, shut him down!

Maybe Edelman is taking PEDs and maybe he’s not. It’s strange that a multi-billion dollar company isn’t able to tell what drugs or substances its players are using. If the leagues can’t be sure if the players are playing within the rules how are fans and bettors supposed to trust the league for providing events with integrity?

Jesse James touchdown that wasn’t

The Jesse James catch isn’t the first time sports fans and bettors questioned the rules and interpretation of the rules on a catch in the NFL. The non-touchdown for the Pittsburgh Steelers against the New England Patriots was the most recent head-scratching call by referees. The rules will be different next NFL season but these confusing decisions will probably continue.

There’s always conspiracies about referees. Did the league fix a game for TV ratings or did a gambler fix a side for money? It’s rare that either question is true but there’s always chatter about referees in all sports not knowing simple rules or just missing calls. Integrity and transparency have always been crucial to keeping the events appear to be fair.

Who knew what when about LeBron?

Integrity has always been important to sports. It will continue to be important when people are legally wagering on the games. The leagues say they’ve been operating legitimate events forever. If a league wants a fee for integrity they’ll have to offer it.

Disclosure of injuries – especially to a player like LeBron James – have an effect on betting the game. Evidently, a small group of people knew about the injury but didn’t tell anyone. Did they act on this with an illegal bookie? The lines in Nevada didn’t seem to be off.

Was LeBron really hurt or just making an excuse for losing? We may never know. However, NBA teams are supposed to report all injuries and the Cavaliers didn’t. Expect a fine regardless of what else is disclosed.

We live in a world of conspiracy theories and sports isn’t immune to this. Integrity has always been important and that needs to continue. The courts can decide if the leagues should be paid for doing what they say they’ve always done.

No NBA For You, Golden Nugget!

Marc Meltzer June 9, 2018
Golden Nugget

In case you missed the news out of the Garden State this week, here’s a quick rundown:

  • New Jersey passed a sports betting bill on Thursday.
  • The bill states that Golden Nugget can open a sportsbook but cannot take NBA bets.
  • Bill must be signed by Gov. Philip D. Murphy before any bets are taken.

As expected, New Jersey is acting quickly to legalize sports betting. The vote was unanimous. Once the bill is signed into law, the casinos and racetracks can begin taking wagers on games.

The previous version of this bill made us question whether the Golden Nugget would be able to operate a sportsbook. Well, the most recent version of the bill was revised and the Golden Nugget will be able to operate a sportsbook. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that the Golden Nugget cannot take wagers on NBA games. The issue with Golden Nugget owner, Tilman Fertitta, owning the Houston Rockets is still seen as a conflict. This is potentially a huge blow to the south New Jersey casino operator.

Basketball has strong roots on the east coast and the NBA is one of the most popular professional sports leagues in America. All basketball (including college hoops) is second to the NFL in handle in Nevada sports betting. While the two states may not be apples to apples, the potential for basketball betting revenue in New Jersey can’t be overlooked.

Basketball is big business for Nevada sportsbooks

Together, college and pro basketball have historically been one of the biggest winners for sportsbooks in Nevada. According to UNLV Gaming, sportsbooks actually won more money in 2017 from basketball than any other sport. Last year college and pro basketball win for sportsbooks were $87,431,000 while football (college and pro) was $76,896,000. Basketball accounted for slightly more than 35% of the win for sportsbooks last year.

Football was the leading sports for Nevada sportsbooks in win percentage from 2012-2016 so this could be an anomaly. It could also be the beginning of a trend as the NBA and March Madness are more popular than ever. The consolation prize for the Golden Nugget is that they can still take wagers on NCAA basketball.

NBA and 76ers on the rise

Sports betting should be a little different in every region and in every state. Football may always be the most popular sport for gamblers but basketball could be a little more popular on the east coast than Nevada. In addition to regional preferences, Atlantic City and much of southern New Jersey is considered a sports suburb for Philadelphia sports teams. TV’s are always turned into 76ers, Phillies, Eagles, and Flyers games.

The 76ers are one of the hottest up and coming teams in the NBA and the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City will certainly miss not being able to book their games. In addition to being close to Pennsylvania, New Jersey also borders New York City. Until both states legalize sports betting, New Jersey will be the only legal game in town. While Atlantic City isn’t considered a New York sports market, they certainly have Knicks fans visiting frequently. We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the 4,500 Nets fans in Brooklyn that could also be visitors. The Golden Nugget will certainly miss out the action from those three teams alone.

Where’s My Receipt? Fertitta May Need To Return Rockets To Have NJ Sports Betting

Marc Meltzer June 6, 2018
NJ Sports Betting

Golden Nugget owner Tilman Fertitta stepped in something when he purchased the Houston Rockets in 2017. Whether he stepped in something good or bad is unfolding before our eyes. Despite the crossover potential of the two businesses, casino ownership and sports franchise ownerships don’t mix perfectly.

Since sports gambling has become a legal state issue, there will be different laws for sports gambling in every state across the country. Right now it appears as though the states will take a different approach to sports team ownership and sportsbook operations. Take a look:

  • Golden Nugget Las Vegas and Laughlin do not take bets on Houston Rockets
  • Golden Nugget Atlantic City may not be able to operate a sportsbook at all
  • Golden Nugget Biloxi and Lake Charles could come under scrutiny in Mississippi and Louisiana, respectively.

You may remember last year that the Golden Nugget was asked to take the Houston Rockets off the board at their Nevada sportsbooks. The Nugget was still allowed to book the rest of the NBA teams and all other sports for that matter. Well, New Jersey may be a little more strict about sportsbook operators also owning professional sports franchises.

PlayNJ.com got its hands on the proposed sports betting bill for New Jersey. In brief, casino owners may not own more than ten percent of a professional sports franchise.

If this bill becomes law as it’s proposed, then the Golden Nugget will not be able to take sports wagers in Atlantic City. Let’s take a look to see if this is a big deal for the owner of both the casino company and NBA team.

Houston Rockets valuation and revenue

According to Forbes, the Houston Rockets franchise had a valuation of $2.2 billion in February. Forbes and Statista report the Rockets generated $296 million in revenue for the 2016-2017 season. Revenue for the Rockets has been on the rise since the 2013-2014 season. That should continue with the great season the team just finished.

New Jersey sports betting revenue estimate

Golden Nugget is potentially a single outlet for sports betting in New Jersey. Below are a few statewide sports betting revenue scenario estimates by Eilers & Krejcik Gaming in a mature NJ market:

  1. Estimated annual revenue if sports betting is limited to land-based outlets – $251 million.
  2. Estimated annual revenue from land-based and restricted online sports betting – $324 million.
  3. Estimated annual revenue from land-based and full online sports betting – $502 million.

It’s difficult to say how what share of the sports betting market will belong to Golden Nugget in New Jersey since sports betting will be available beyond casinos. According to revenue reports the Golden Nugget was fifth of eight brick and mortar casinos. Their online casinos had the most revenue any ownership group in New Jersey.

So now what?

There are a lot of potential scenarios for the Golden Nugget in New Jersey. Will Fertitta sell the Rockets so the Golden Nugget can take bets on sports in New Jersey? Will the Golden Nugget just pass up the potential revenue from sports betting in New Jersey because they own the Houston Rockets?

The finances don’t seem to line up for a sale of the Rockets…right now. That might be something to consider if Mississippi and Louisiana were to take a similar stance as New Jersey regarding casino and sports franchise ownership.

In any event, things seem problematic right now for Fertitta in NJ, unless the bill is changed.

Mainstream Media Needs To Stop Spreading Misinformation About Sports Betting

Marc Meltzer June 4, 2018
Sports Betting

Most experienced sports bettors in the United States know what they can and can’t bet on. However, we’re the exception. Believe it or not, most citizens of this country haven’t gambled on sports because legal sports betting hasn’t been easily accessible.

The mainstream sports media falls into the same category as the mainstream population. They’re often uneducated and ignorant to how legal and illegal sports betting operates. This will change as states legalize gambling.

In the meantime sportsbook staffers like Jeff Sherman at the Westgate in Las Vegas still have to explain what kind of betting is legal in the U.S.

This tweet was made during the weekend but the mainstream media DGAF. Even national radio host Colin Cowherd, who brings sports betting “experts” on his show regularly, mentioned the odds of LeBron James going to another team as “odds from Vegas.” Someday he’ll understand that all sports betting odds aren’t generated in Las Vegas.

Offshore sportsbooks can offer proposition bets on just about anything they feel like offering. The Nevada Gaming Control Board has very tight regulations on what we’re allowed to wager on in the state. Other states that legalize gambling should have similar oversight.

Mainstream media needs to get their shit together

Ever since PASPA was struck down the mainstream sports media has decided to talk sports betting more frequently. There are some very knowledgeable people on the subject spreading the good word. However, they are few and far between. Talking heads on TV and podcasts and writers for websites are trying to discuss a topic that they don’t understand. Al Leiter is not helping MLB or MLB Network with ignorant statements like this.

The hosts of these media outlets now have to discuss a topic they’ve spent little to no time researching. National radio shows still use offshore odds and point spreads and refer to them as being from “Vegas.” This creates confusion for listeners and reader who really want to know the information they can bet on.

American sports betting odds go local and mainstream

Las Vegas has always been the origin of sports betting odds in America. In recent years, the Westgate has done a great job being the point of origin for a lot of the information shared on ESPN and other networks. That could change and customers should be able to find sports betting information originating in the United States from multiple sources.

Sports betting information news should start to be distributed locally and regionally. Local media will be able to see information from the sports betting outlets in their area. Delaware media will likely tout local sportsbook operators instead of the number originating in Las Vegas and off-shore. This creates more meaningful news content for their viewers and readers.

Whether you like the way they do business or not, William Hill does a great job sharing their news with the media. Will Hill should be the first sportsbook operator in New Jersey and will take their PR stylings to the east coast. Media in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania will be educated on sports betting, in part, by William Hill.

The other incoming sportsbook operators coming to New Jersey do a poor job marketing their sportsbooks in Nevada but that could (and should) change with the large east coast betting population. It appears as though Jay Rood from MGM Resorts International will be licensed in New Jersey in time for legalization. Expect this Nevada bookmaker to share his knowledge on the betting sports as well.

The future of sports betting in media looks bright

Most of the mainstream sports media today grew up without gambling on sports or having access to point spreads, betting options, and general gambling news. There’s a bit of ignorance with the mainstream public about sports betting. If sports fans were curious about gambling they would have to learn from an illegal subculture or find information generated from Las Vegas.

The future will have more sports fans educated on sports betting. The information will be more accessible around the country. Whether the information is gained from local sports media or national sports media there should be a better understanding of sports gambling.

Today we have to listen to people like Leiter hypothesize about driving around New Jersey to make $500,000 in bets. Tomorrow we should see a new generation of media talking heads that will grow up with legal gambling accessible. This should make for a more educated media.

Also Read: ESPN Launches First Gambling-Focused Show — And It’s Only The Beginning

College Football Week 1 Betting Lines, Team Win Totals Released For 2018

Marc Meltzer May 27, 2018
College Football Week1

Las Vegas sportsbook operators and casinos are continuing to create earlier than ever sports wagering opportunities. This week the South Point released three ways to wager on the upcoming college football season: Week 1 lines, point spreads for games of the year, and season win totals for the upcoming college football season (see below for all three).

South Point is the first land-based casino in America to release these college football numbers. The distinction of being the first Las Vegas casino to release college football lines used to be held by Golden Nugget. They’ll release their lines shortly. South Point started to release their college football lines early when Chris Andrews joined the team since he typically has his college football research complete in May.

Even though the lines are created at South Point and offered via mobile and at Rampart Casino, the college football lines on Monday morning were only available to bet in person at South Point initially. The lines were released to NV Sports app bettors and Rampart Casino customers in Summerlin shortly thereafter.

The unfortunate people in Summerlin had to get in their cars and drive 20 minutes to the South Point to get the best of the college football lines instead of just wagering on a mobile device or at Rampart Casino. South Point released the lines on site simply because it’s easier to keep track of the bets placed when they’re all in one place.

South Point early line bet limits

The maximum bet limit on the early college football lines is relatively low at $1,000 per wager. The maximum bet limit will increase as the season approaches. South Point sportsbook director, Chris Andrews, says the maximum wager should increase in early August.

Each bettor may place three wagers before moving to the back of the line. This gives the other early bettors a chance to place wagers before one person has a chance to completely hog the betting desk and destroy certain lines. This also gives the sportsbook operators at South Point time to move the line so they aren’t torched too badly.

The lower maximum wager is on the high end for early lines in Las Vegas. CG Technology released pro football lines earlier this year with a maximum bet of $500. Sportsbook operators use these low limits to keep exposure to risk at a minimum. Reputable sportsbook operators like the South Point may move lines quickly but they will always take the action and pay on the bets they lose. That’s sorta how things are supposed to work.

The college football opening week lines moved quickly. Shortly after the initial college football lines were posted Chris Andrews tweeted the following adjustments.

The lines will continue to move as more people bet on the individual games. Here are some easy to read line movement highlights after the first hour of college football betting at South Point:

  • Notre Dame from -7 to -1 vs. Michigan
  • Purdue +2 to -3 vs. Northwestern
  • Syracuse -1 to -6 at Western Michigan

Games of the year spreads

GOY LINES

Team regular season win totals

Somehow, Legally Betting On Golden Tee Is Now A Real Thing In Nevada

Marc Meltzer May 24, 2018
Golden Tee

The Nevada Gaming Control Board normally isn’t full of surprises. New games and events that receive approval for casinos are typically tested and well known before seeing the light of day.

Well, thanks to a request from Boyd Gaming, and specifically, The Orleans, the gaming control board just flipped the script by allowing casinos to take wagers on a contest for a video game typically played in bars.

This week the Nevada Gaming Control Board granted approval to casinos to offer wagers on the winner of the Golden Tee 2018 World Championship. Yes, this is the same Golden Tee game you play at bars for years. This is a legit wagering opportunity where sportsbook operators have to comply with the Gaming Control Board or risk losing their license.

Don’t get too worked up about the potential for news and strange bets here. Nevada sportsbook operators may only post odds and accept wagers on the winner of the Golden Tee 2018 World Championship. While this is open to all sportsbooks, Boyd Gaming/Orleans appears to be the only sportsbook ready to take action. There are no prop bets for this event unless a sportsbooks operator makes a special request to the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

What Is The Golden Tee 2018 World Championship?

The Golden Tee 2018 World Championship takes place at The Orleans in Las Vegas from June 8-10. Qualifying to participate in this event started in February and 63 of the 64 slots are already occupied. You can snag the last spot if you’re in Vegas on the first day of the tournament.

The prize pool is $100,000 so you might want to enter if you have skills. First place in the Championship Bracket will take home $20,000, and second-place will take home $10,000. No player who qualifies and participates will walk away with less than $450 cash. Not too shabby for a no-entry-fee contest.

What’s next?

The Golden Tee 2018 World Championship is a strange event to receive approval for casinos in Nevada to take bets on. There are plenty of esports and skill contests like this in Las Vegas every year. Most of those events don’t have an opportunity for gamblers to get in on the action. So why would gaming approve such a small and relatively unknown event for betting?

Nevada sportsbook operators tend to avoid taking wagers on untraditional events. Requests to take bets on Esports or one-off events have to be made individually. The size of new and smaller events often isn’t worth the time and effort. Right now it’s difficult to imagine how this event could generate much if any, revenue.

Is this the beginning of a new day of event betting in Nevada? Between large esports events like EVO and non-traditional sports like the Pro Darts Championship, there are plenty of opportunities to open up new betting streams. It’s up to sportsbook operators to decide whether or not they want to take wagers on these kinds of events. As of today, the Nevada Gaming Control Board website doesn’t have any more unique events listed.

The Future Of Sportsbooks: What To Expect From The Big Casino Operators

Marc Meltzer May 19, 2018
Sportsbooks

Park MGM in Las Vegas (formerly Monte Carlo) opened a new sports bar and book for the first weekend of the NCAA basketball tournament. The new sports bar and book isn’t a traditional sportsbook like the Monte Carlo used to have. The place to bet on sports at the newly revealed casino is more like a bar and restaurant with a sports betting section in the front.

The sportsbook at Park MGM is a nice room to watch the games you have bets on, but it offers a different experience than sportsbooks in most casinos. MGM Resorts International is different than some other casino operators that may follow a template for their sportsbooks. Generally, MGM Resorts offers a different sportsbook experience at each of their Las Vegas properties.

  • The Bellagio is set up to feel more like a lounge than Aria which feels more like a man cave.
  • The Mirage sportsbook is a huge space and set up for customers looking for open seating (free) and those willing to pay for VIP seats and couches.
  • MGM Grand is mostly a traditional sportsbook but has Sky Boxes for high rollers.

None of MGM’s Las Vegas casinos have the same exact sportsbook layout.

Different sportsbooks for different locations

There are a handful of casino and sportsbook operators in Las Vegas that will begin to roll out sportsbooks at their casinos around the country as gambling is legalized elsewhere. In addition to MGM Resorts International, Caesars Entertainment, Boyd Gaming, and William Hill are just a few of the casino chains with multiple Las Vegas properties that will expand their sportsbook operations beyond Las Vegas.

Here’s a look at what to expect in a sportsbook from each operator when they open a sportsbook in your state.

  • MGM Resorts – They have a variety of styles with a focus on socializing. They also want to make sure they are monetizing every seat in some way. The sportsbook may appear traditional. However, the design could make it easier for them to sell drinks to guests watching and wagering on the games instead
  • Caesars Entertainment – They have traditional style sportsbooks in different sizes to accommodate the appropriate number of people per property. They often have VIP areas where they can sell seats or reserve seats for their high tier players club members. Caesars is one of the sportsbook operators that is looking to rent seats in their sportsbook whenever possible.
  • Boyd Gaming – Most of their Las Vegas sportsbooks are as traditional as it gets. There are plush chairs for sports bettors and desks with monitors and banquet style chairs for horse bettors. Boyd Gaming sportsbooks in Las Vegas aren’t flashy but they get the job done. They often have a hot dog cart on gameday, if you’re into that sort of thing.
  • William Hill – They’re an outside sportsbook operator and have a variety of sportsbooks that are different for each property. Smaller properties may have a betting desk at the end of a bar. Larger properties might have a traditional sportsbook feel. Their New Jersey location at Monmouth Park is a sports bar and restaurant with more than 40 TV’s located on the grandstand level of the racetrack. The color and furnishings look similar to some of their Las Vegas sportsbooks.

Mobile betting changes everything

One reason casino and sportsbook operators are creating new sportsbook environments are to entice younger customers to visit. A recent study shows that millennials prefer online gambling to casinos. Further, the youngest of this group find the traditional casino environment depressing. Casino operators often have to search for new customers while offering an experience existing customers will enjoy.

Online and mobile sports betting really minimizes the need for large betting areas found in traditional sportsbooks. Different casinos and sportsbooks have different customers with different preferences. We still don’t know how legal sports betting will be set up around the country. The push to mobile for all sportsbook operators could dictate how the sportsbooks are set up in your local casino, racetrack or bar.