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Nevada sports betting brings in big bucks, gaming companies bet on future growth

When can I legally bet on sports?
Posted at 8:37 PM, Jun 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-15 00:18:59-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The future of sports betting in Sin City is looking bright as more Nevada companies are expanding and cashing in on the multi-billion dollar industry.

The money line, the over, the under: to the beginning bettor it can be overwhelming but there's a growing number of people who know the lingo.

What was once a backroom bookie deal is now out in the open and embraced in many states across the country since the Supreme Court struck down a nationwide prohibition on sports betting in 2018.

Nevada Casinos and gaming companies view the move as a cataylst for growth.

"In combination with working with our app, we're pretty happy with how our app has been developed and I think a broad range of menu items is going to separate Circa a little bit," said Casino and Hotel owner Derek Stevens.

Stevens, who co-owns The D Hotel and Casino, Golden Gate, and the new Circa Hotel and Casino in Downtown Las Vegas, just unveiled his newest venture called Circa Sportsbook.

The venture also includes the Circa Sports app which allows people to make wagers from their smart phones anywhere in Nevada.

"What it's done it just increased sports wagering," said Stevens.

"It's certainly not something that hurts Las Vegas, handles are up, I think sports betting is just now out of the shadows," added Stevens.

Nevada, at one time, was the only sacred ground for legal sports betting in the United States but according to Legal Sports Report, 8 states around the country now have some form of legalized sports betting and 8 additional states have pending plans to legalize sports betting.

"It's created opportunities to grow into other marks, which has led to hiring more people here in Las Vegas," said Joe Asher, CEO of William Hill.

"I mean, we've had to move into an entirely different building because we've been hiring so fast, we've had no where to put people," added Asher.

William Hill, the global leader in sports betting, is poised to take more of the legal sports bets using traditional sportsbooks but also technology commonly called mobile sports betting.

But a new question emerges, will the proliferation of legalized sports betting impact the Las Vegas slice of the money pie?

"People all across the country can bet on sports today with their illegal bookie, so the idea that it doesn't exist outside of Nevada was never true," explained Asher.

The big casinos on the Las Vegas Strip are also getting in on sports betting popularity.

Caesars Entertainment just announced a new partnership with ESPN in May.

Plans call for a sports betting news and entertainment talk radio studio to be built at the Linq Hotel and Casino.

"For us, it's about adding context and story telling to the odds, to tell the stories that sports fans want to know about, what's driving those odds and creating great, compelling content," said Chris Holdren, Chief Marketing Officer for Caeasars Entertainment.

The company already has a sport talk presence with the Bleacher Report located as Caesars Palace.

"I think sports betting seems to be popular because it is newer for a lot of people and its the new and exciting thing," said University of Nevada Las Vegas gaming expert Dave Schwartz.

Schwartz says it's not surprising more gaming companies are bolstering their sports betting footprint.

"Sports betting has always been a small total of the total gaming pie in Nevada," said Schwartz.

"It was 1 percent but now it's up over 2 percent, so it's growing but still pretty small," explained Schwartz.

Schwartz believes the growth trend will continue into the future.

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