LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Legal betting for the Oscars is on, but the bets are off in Las Vegas.
Last month, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement allowed betting on this year’s Academy Awards.
Right now, it’s illegal to cast ballots on Hollywood’s big night in the Silver State, but officials around town say that betting on the Oscar’=s may not be such a bad idea, and regulations could change.
“We work in a very highly regulated environment,” said Jay Kornegay, executive vice president of the Superbook at the Westgate. “There are specific guidelines in there to protect the consumers, as well as the operators, and that’s what our state does.
Kornegay also notes, “Once we put some parameters together, and make sure everyone is protected down the road, it could only be a matter of time before betting on the Oscars is allowed.”
Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court voted on legalized sports betting on state-by-state bases, but currently, there are no plans to allow Oscar betting in Nevada.
Officials in Nevada also say that if betting on the Oscars was legal, it would surpass the Super Bowl and even March Madness - which are currently the highest betting events of the year.
Betting may be illegal in the books, but I went around town, where some locals cast their ballots on the boards, and right now, “Bohemian Rhapsody” was a fan favorite to win for 2019 Best Picture at the Academy Awards.