Betting

Non-sports betting can begin, but the floodgates have yet to open

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Odds-making guru Johnny Avello heads the race and sports book at the Wynn.
Photo: Leila Navidi

Suck at cards but still want to win money at the World Series of Poker? Now you can. Last week, the Wynn sports book began taking bets on the World Series of Poker main event. Now you can gamble on gamblers.

In the past, Gaming Regulation 22.120 banned all non-sporting event wagering. So you couldn’t bet on American Idol or the Oscars or the Heisman Trophy. But last January, the Casino Control Board loosened its rules.

The floodgates haven’t opened, though. Right now, the only non-sports wager you can place is on the WSOP, and the only place you can do it is the Wynn. (Even those bets are limited to five specific things, like “Will the champion be born before January 1984?” and “Will a woman finish in the top 40?”)

Hopefully, this is just a starting point. Hopefully, other casinos will be eager and willing to submit proposals and go through the long procedure necessary to approve non-sporting event wagers, as Wynn did. This could mean big business for Las Vegas. Dancing With the Stars wagering could draw to the casinos people who, right now, can’t even tell you what a sports book is.

Maybe by the time 2012 rolls around, casinos will be taking bets on the presidential election. I wouldn’t bet on it, but that’s only because I’m not allowed.

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