LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Many have missed the glowing odds boards, the suite of screens, and the exchange of cold hard cash that comes with sports betting in Las Vegas since the coronavirus pandemic ended all bet-worthy sporting events.
Few, probably, have missed it more than 77 year old Tom Cromwell.
"I've been betting for 40, 45 years," he said standing outside of the South Point Casino and Spa.
Cromwell arrived early for the debut of South Point's new mobile sports betting registration opportunity Wednesday morning.
He said the loss of sports betting has taken one of the few hobbies he had during lock down.
"Depression," he said, "pretty bad, you know? I'm retired, nothing else to do."
South Point General Manager Ryan Growney said demand for sports betting has been through the roof in the last few weeks as many sit at home like Cromwell.
"People right now," Growney said, "me and you playing Tiddlywinks, people would bet on it."
He said signing up for or depositing money into a sports betting account has to be done in person which posed a problem for safely bringing mobile betting back online.
"A lot of people took their money out of their accounts, because there was nothing to bet on. We have to allow them to get back in."
To solve that problem, South Point organized a drive-thru registration and deposit program.
Betters will drive through the valet section of the casino, a worker wearing protective gear will come to their car to take their deposit or register them with the South Point Mobile Betting App, and the customer can drive away without ever leaving their car.
Growney said if someone needs to fill out a registration form the clipboard is sanitized between each use.
To begin, South Point is offering bets on this weekend's UFC 249 event, several NASCAR races over the coming days, and football predictions for the coming season.
"We just wanted to make sure it was in place once these events started coming back," Growney said, "and hopefully soon enough we're going to see basketball, we're going to see hockey come back and finish, and we're going to see baseball start."
The drive-thru betting registration is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.