Thursday, May 27, 2010

Super Bowl In NYC To Increase Sports Betting?

Casino Gambling Web reports that having the Super Bowl outdoors in a cold weather venue will lead to increased gambling on the game, particularly with regard to proposition bets. The premise is that the weather will generate more proposition bets regarding the weather, such as temperature, snow, etc. I disagree. The same propositions can be offered for games in warm weather locations, with the proposition temperature being higher and rain being substituted for snow.

The article is correct in predicting that the total points scored over/under level will likely be several points lower and that the point spread may be tighter. The article also mentions that during the two-week betting window before the game, the forecast weather may radically change, putting sportsbooks in jeopardy. This could occur if the game weather forecast moves from inclement to clear and sunny, or vice versa, during the runup to the game. If sportsbooks have taken too much action on a side that would benefit from a weather forecast change, they could be hit hard if even more action on the wrong side for them came in the days right before the game, with no real chance to balance the action.

We won't have to wait long to see if this is true as the 2014 Super Bowl will be in New Jersey, at the stadium for the New York Jets and Giants. If this occurs, will the NFL stop having the Super Bowl outdoor in cold weather locations, or will they continue to stick to their story that for them, it's about the game and not the gambling money? My guess is that if betting is hampered or the sportsbooks lose big, the Super Bowl moves back to warm weather stadiums or indoors.

One of the biggest jokes in sports betting in my opinion is the position of the NFL that it is worried about gambling because of the integrity of the game and that the popularity of the game is solely due to the game itself and not any gambling. The NFL is a great fit for gambling. Do you really think all those Monday night, Thursday night, Sunday night and Saturday night games are scheduled because those games couldn't be played on Sunday? My sentiment is that the NFL and other sports leagues oppose sports betting primarily because they don't get a cut of the money. Some consider fantasy sports gambling and you see all the major US sports leagues having fantasy sports games. Interesting, yes?

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tropicana Undergoing Facelift

The Las Vegas Sun reported that the Tropicana will be undergoing a renovation that will cost upward of $165 million. Part of the thrust of the article is that the Tropicana will be losing some of its history, which is accurate. Of course, recent history for the property hasn't been that good, as it emerged from bankruptcy just last summer.

What the management team wants to do is retheme the Tropicana to a South Beach theme from the mix and match of decor installed over the 50 year history of the property. This is actually a very good thing. As the article states, often properties get "renovated" by blowing them up and rebuilding from scratch. The Tropicana will spend a fraction of the cost of a new build to refresh the property.

In addition, management is focusing the market position to a "best in class" position, which means that in their market tier, they are tops. That is also a good thing. The Tropicana isn't going to be able to compete with Wynn or the Bellagio, but they can compete with the mid-tier properties. Also, since the Tropicana is on the northern end of the Strip, their close competition, the Sahara, Circus Circus, Stratosphere (and the Las Vegas Hilton to the east), appear to be beatable properties. The makeover could put the Tropicana as the top property in this area.

I, for one, look forward to visiting after the renovation is complete.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Delaware's Sports Betting Challenge Fails

The AP reports that Delaware has lost its challenge to the legal ruling that limits them to only offering parlay bets of 3 or more NFL games. Delaware has a grandfather exemption under the 1992 PASPA law, along with Nevada, Oregon and Montana. The exemption allows the grandfathered state to offer only those kind of sports betting options previously offered. Delaware offered a NFL sports lottery back in the 1970s.

Last year, Delaware revived its sports betting offering, but wanted to expand the options to allow single-game sports betting on the NFL as well as other professional sports. The sports leagues objected and filed for an injunction to keep Delaware from expanding their offering. The US 3rd Circuit upheld the leagues' arguments and instituted the injunction on Delaware, which they appealed to the US Supreme Court. The Supreme Court declined to take the case, ending the issue. Delaware will be limited to what they have offered last year.

The State of New Jersey is fighting PASPA on constitutional grounds. Delaware did the same, but did not take the same tack as New Jersey. What Delaware wanted was their ability to expand sports betting without being bound by PASPA, but have all the other non-grandfathered states still be bound by the law - wanting their cake and eating it too. The court saw through this and didn't allow this expansion. If the state wants to operate within PASPA, they need to stay within the stated safe harbors.

New Jersey is fighting to have PASPA declared unconstitutional, which would allow any state to decide for itself what gambling is allowed within state borders. Delaware didn't challenge the entire law, just the portion they didn't like. That approach likely doomed their chances of success. Either they join New Jersey and attack the whole PASPA law, or they need to be satisfied with NFL parlays.

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