According to TMZ, Donald Trump is packing 25 of his ‘biggest high-rollers’ (apparently, you need a seven-figure bankroll to qualify) into his private jet and flying them all down to the Super Bowl to watch the Pittsburgh Steelers battle the Green Bay Packers. Der Donald will pay for everything, including champagne & caviar (so cliché, DT) and seats at the game, but the minute the game’s over, it’s back to Atlantic City so the high-rollers can demonstrate their gratitude by leaving at least six of those seven figures on Trump’s gaming tables. He best hope they haven’t first all blown their bankrolls betting on the game.
While sports books typically account for only about 1-3% of a Nevada casino’s overall win, when overall business is in the garbage, every little bit helps. With two of the top-five regular season betting teams facing off on Sunday and a spread of just 2.5 points — the first time in 29 years the spread has been less than a field goal — recreational bettors are out in droves, placing heavy action on both sides of the ball.
Most books expect to do boffo business on this year’s game, with words like ‘monster’ and ‘off the charts’ being bandied about in total earnestness. Cantor Gaming’s sports book director Mike Colbert went one better, telling the Las Vegas Sun, “this Super Bowl should set a record for biggest handle of all time.” For the record, the Steelers were one of the teams (Seahawks being the other) involved in the current handle record of $94.5m set in 2006. It won’t be hard to beat the numbers of the past two years, which saw handles of ‘just’ $81.5m and $82.7m. Over the past four years, the average has been $87m, and MGM Resorts International’s Jay Rood believes that $88m is “a number everyone would have to be happy about.” Except all those dead senior citizens, that is.