I am always asked the same question about the legalization of sports betting in gaming areas other than Las Vegas.
Sports betting has been given so much press lately and is being pushed by politicians to be legalized state-by-state. Let’s face it, the NFL would be in trouble if it was not for sports betting. Over one-half of the people (I realize that is probably an underestimate) watching have a financial interest in the outcome of these games. Either through straight up betting the outcomes ( like I do ), fantasy sports, or box pools.
Most of the owners are all for legalized sports betting, because that would be a revenue stream for them. Some team owners are already involved or taking an active stance in favor of legalization. The commissioners of the NBA and NHL are pushing for this also.
You would think I would be 100% for the legalization because it would give me other avenues to bet more money on the games when visiting other states. But I’m not as optimistic about the potential as you may think. First, it would be the same exact corporations that are here in Las Vegas that would capitalize on this. Because they already have a foothold in the only area of the country that takes legal wagers. Therefore, the new destinations would look to them for their expertise.
That would not be good for a guy like me. As an example, if Caesars in Atlantic City is booking sports, the lines would still be overseen from Las Vegas. Therefore, whether I bet at Caesars Atlantic City or Caesars Las Vegas, I will still be limited to the same type of wagers and, more importantly, the same limits. I do not foresee any new corporations getting into the sports betting market in the United States.
Secondly, I do not think people (especially kids) in other states need another vice on their hands. With the peer pressure of social media, drinking, drugs, and state lotteries, people have enough on their hands today to survive. People here in Las Vegas have grown up with this and most know how to handle it.
I have many friends come in to visit me from out of town throughout football season. They get the biggest thrill at being able to go to a place like the Westgate (I am a throwback, and will always think of this as the Las Vegas Hilton) and watch football on some of the best screens in the world. Speaking of the Westgate, they are one of the only places left that still comp you on sports bets.
I personally think the Westgate (and the Southpoint) staff are some of the sharpest guys in town. They know the pulse of the business; they follow the lines and the people who bet them, like me, and move on the action. If I were to run a book I would want to hire guys that are sharp sports bettors themselves to run my lines.