It’s that time of year again that we eagerly await the 2019 Golden Tee World Championship in Las Vegas. For the second consecutive year, the event will take place at The Orleans. Golden Tee fans can catch the live video game action in person from June 21 through June 23.
Also for the second straight year, the host casino will take wagers on who will win the Golden Tee World Championship. Boyd Gaming has odds for more than 70 participants posted and available for anyone in Nevada that wants to wager on the event in person at The Orleans or on their B Connected Sports app.
Golden Tee World Championship
The Golden Tee World Championship is a culmination of 12 weeks of qualifying gameplay across the US. The championship event will feature 74 participants and a prize pool of $135,000. The winner will take home $30,000. Prize money is paid out to all 74 participants in the contest.
The three-day event will take place at the 800-seat Showroom at The Orleans. The Golden Tee World Championship is open to the public. You can see the action from the 2018 event here.
Betting action on the Golden Tee World Championship
This ain’t no joke. Incredible Technologies marketing coordinator Kevin Lindsay tells TheLines that “social media has been buzzing about the 2019 World’s since it was announced last December.” Much of that excitement was about betting on the contestants once again.
That demand can already be seen at Boyd Gaming sportsbooks. Lindsay says: “The odds have only been out for a week, and they’re already fluctuating noticeably as bets are being placed.” Boyd Gaming will leave keep these odds posted until the Golden Tee World Championship begins at 11:30 on June 22.
esports betting in Las Vegas
Just to avoid confusion, this is a contest playing the Golden Tee golf video game that most people enjoy inside of a bar. In the sports betting world, wagering on any video game competition is considered esports betting.
It’s understandable if Golden Tee isn’t the first name that comes to mind when thinking about esports. Contest participation for the golf game isn’t quite as large as DOTA 2, Fortnight, and League of Legends. It’s not even the most popular sports video game for competitions. Madden and NBA 2K fit more closely with the other popular esports competitions.
Esports betting in the US hasn’t taken off the way some thought it would. The fact that Golden Tee is returning to Las Vegas and is once again open to bettors is a good thing but the esports betting world is still underwhelming in the US.
Esports competitions are still alive and well around the world but esports betting still hasn’t taken off. The Golden Tee World Championship at least keeps this potentially new world of betting alive. However, Incredible Technologies seems to be creating a path for niche events to gain a new way to promote their events in Las Vegas.
Most of the legwork to open betting on the Golden Tee World Championship appears to have been done by the event organizers. Lindsay tells The Lines that Incredible Technologies “provided an impressive amount of player stats to the Nevada Gaming Control Board to help determine starting odds for the qualified players.”
Will other esports or non-traditional competition organizers follow their lead?
Non-traditional sports betting in Nevada
Las Vegas is very familiar with non-traditional contests. The Las Vegas Summer Classic Domino Tournament takes place at The Palms a week after the Golden Tee World Championship at The Orleans. These unique, niche contests happen in Las Vegas fairly often.
While there is interest to wager on the Golden Tee event, there doesn’t seem to be similar fervor to wager on every contest. TheLines reached out to the Universal Domino League to see if there would be any wagering available. We haven’t heard back yet and it’s probably safe to assume there won’t be wagering available for this event.
As we detailed when discussing the 2018 Golden Tee World Championships last year, Nevada sportsbook operators often avoid taking wagers on these non-traditional events. The return to sportsbooks for small niche events often aren’t worth the time and effort it takes just to make betting odds available. Each sport or one-off event has to be made individually.
Maybe having an aggressive marketing partner will help non-traditional sports betting take off. If nothing else, the betting aspect provides another avenue of marketing for the event.