No NBA Dent Vegas Betting – At the moment, the loss of NBA games has not made a single dent in betting at Las Vegas sports books. However, if there is a extended lockout, they will lose.
The NFL and Monday’s start of the college basketball season will help mitigate some of the absent pro basketball games, which was scheduled to open its 82-game season for 30 teams Tuesday and end with the Finals in June.
“The most impactful day coming up here will be on Christmas Day, because that’s the day they get showcased before the end of the year,” says Jay Rood, vice president of Race and Sports for MGM Resorts International. Rood estimates NBA wagering represents 15% to 18% of his handle, the amount of money wagered, which so far hasn’t shown a dent.
“It’s a significant portion of our business,” Rood says. “If we go without for the season, it’s going to be something we’re going to have to try and overcome, possibly exploring other options, like expanding some NCAA offerings.
Bodog.com in early October listed 5:4 odds that the entire pro basketball season will be canceled.
Jay Kornegay, executive director of Race and Sports SuperBook for Las Vegas Hilton, expects a major impact, too. “We’re a very big NBA house. It represents 15% of our handle,” he says. “We expect about half of that 15% to transfer over to the college (basketball) game and the college football bowl games. We expect very similar results after football (is over) for the first three months of next year, if the lockout were to go on that long.
The frequency of basketball games makes that league a popular play. Posting European games isn’t an option because of the time zone difference and a lack of interest, even if a superstar such as Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant were to play abroad.
“You have games every night. A lot of people around the country might not think that, but here, it happens,” Kornegay says. “We’ve got a pretty loyal, consistent NBA following here, so we’re obviously concerned about it. We’ve already made adjustments as far as our forecasts and budgets.”