Las Vegas sports books have a whole lot more to offer their clients now that the Nevada Gaming Commission has amended its regulations. Following a unanimous vote last week, the Commission will now permit the state’s sports books to offer odds on any number of nontraditional events, such as Academy Award or American Idol winners, or the outcome of the World Series of Poker.
However, the new freedoms aren’t free from restrictions. Sports books will be required to provide documentation that “the event could be effectively supervised, would be verifiable, the outcome would be generated by a reliable and independent process and that the outcome would not be affected by any wager placed.”
Mark Lipparelli, chairman of Nevada’s Gaming Control Board, told the Las Vegas Sun that the process of change began several years ago. Punters expressed an interest in wagering on the outcome of sports not covered by the existing language of the state’s regulations, such as billiards, darts and bowling. Debates raged over what did and did not qualify as a ‘sport.’ Even more of interest to the books was the possibility of wagering on big poker events such as the WSOP, which takes place just around the corner from some of these books.
As Lipparelli admits, it’s about time Nevada got with the program. “The Brits kind of laugh at us for not taking some of these types of bets.” Las Vegas Hilton Superbook director Jay Kornegay wants to have the last laugh on these Brits, saying he’s eager for the opportunity to “compete with some of the offshore books that offer these things.” With the growing possibility of an NFL lockout expected to cut deep into sports book revenue, that competition could get awful fierce awful quick.