The Norman Transcript

Sports

January 28, 2014

Place your bets: Football betting more popular than ever in Vegas

LAS VEGAS — With the Super Bowl approaching, fans are talking trash, buying snacks, and, more than ever, placing bets.

Fans bet an unprecedented $99 million on the Super Bowl last year, and the Nevada gambling industry expects to break the record again Sunday, barring a snowstorm. Nevada sports books collected record amounts of football wagers during the tail end of 2013.

All of this is changing the role of the humble sports book, which casinos used to see as a low-profit perk that kept customers from going next door.

“It’s not just an amenity anymore; it’s not just icing on the cake, it’s part of the meal,” said Jay Kornegay, who runs the LVH sports book. “We’ve seen crowds like we’ve never seen before.”

Professional gamblers and odds makers alike attribute the rise in wagering to the increase in televised games, and the increasing ubiquity of sports analysis.

Amateur gamblers are more likely to bet on a game they can watch, because the emotional journey is part of the fun.

The proliferation of sports podcasts, blogs and websites, as well as the debates that rage on social media, have all made fans feel more educated and confident in their opinions, according to Kornegay, who spent last week furiously working with four staffers to figure out hyper-specific data points like the number of receptions Denver running back Knowshon Moreno is likely to have.

Proposition wagers, in which gamblers bet on elements of the game aside from the final score, account for as much as 60 percent of Super Bowl bets in Nevada.

Johnny Avello, who runs the luxurious sports book at Wynn, where the chairs are made of fine leather and the carpet is thick enough to pass out on, believes the stigma is also falling away from the pastime.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • OU V Texas Casey sparks Sooners at the plate against Longhorns

    Oklahoma put runners in scoring position all night, but midway through Thursday’s series opener against Texas, the Sooners couldn’t do much with them. Heading into the bottom of the fifth, they had stranded a handful of runners, including ...

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tigers take series with Timberwolves

    Heather Jones made her final Crosstown Clash contest a game to remember....

    April 18, 2014

  • Shannon won’t face criminal charges

    Oklahoma linebacker Frank Shannon will not face criminal charges for an alleged sexual assault. Any punishment he receives will be through the University....

    April 18, 2014

  • Offense disappears in shutout loss to Mountaineers

    Everything Oklahoma did Thursday night looked rushed. It fell behind quickly, hacked at pitches early in counts and even recorded outs in a time-efficient manner....

    April 18, 2014

  • Sooners eager for title shot

    After fighting all season long to stay near the top of the women’s gymnastics rankings, the time has come for Oklahoma to show it belongs there. The NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships kick-off at 1 p.m. today and the second ranked ...

    April 18, 2014

  • North girls escape with win over ESF

    EDMOND — Ranked No. 5 in the state and the winners of six straight games, three of them over top 10 teams, the Norman North girls looked every bit the dominant team Thursday night at Edmond Santa Fe … right up until they flirted with ...

    April 18, 2014

  • Fieger leads Senior PGA

    PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Gene Fieger shot a 3-under 69 in windy conditions Thursday to take a four-stroke lead in the Senior PGA Professional National Championship....

    April 18, 2014

  • Kuchar builds on momentum

    HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. — There were no major letdowns for Masters contenders Matt Kuchar and Jordan Spieth at the RBC Heritage on Thursday. Kuchar, who tied for fifth at Augusta National, shot a bogey-free 5-under 66 to share the ...

    April 18, 2014

  • Angel Jimenez set for Champions Tour debut

    DULUTH, Ga. — Miguel Angel Jimenez’s starring role in the best Masters ever for players 50 and over was the perfect lead-in for his Champions Tour debut....

    April 18, 2014

  • Puig focuses on baseball despite issues

    SAN FRANCISCO — Yasiel Puig believes he has the support from his Los Angeles Dodgers teammates and the club to help him keep his focus on baseball despite challenges off the field....

    April 18, 2014

Facebook