Sports betting in Las Vegas present & future
On the face of it, the betting world post-Supreme Court rulings of 2018 feels groundbreakingly exciting in the United States. But even in states wherein sports betting was immediately rolled out, punters soon became instantly aware of the limitations of purely “bricks-and-mortar” sportsbook-based legalized sports wagering.
To wit: real-life sportsbooks even in Las Vegas simply cannot and do not offer the incredible range of proposition bets and futures that online sportsbooks (or even the well-structured British bet shoppes) typically will. Atop this is the reality that in any state without extant legalized intrastate gambling – and the list here pretty much stopped at Nevada and Delaware prior to 2018 – has taken or will take quite some time to hash out internet-based issues of legality.
The one group into gambling who was none-too-pleased with the SCOTUS decision of ’18? Nevada casino interests. Already faced with declining revenues from the gambling industry, sportsbooks in Nevada must in the 20s contend with its no-longer unique status as a sportsbook capital of the US. The question therefore becomes…
What is the future of Vegas sports betting?
On the plus side for Las Vegas sports betting providers is the major head start they enjoy over essentially any other gaming house in the Americas, an advantage built up over 75 years or so. The Vegas sportsbooks like those of Belaggio, Caesars Palace and the Westgate will simply not be matched in sheer floor space by anything from an Oregon OTB shop to the Native American-run resort casinos of Connecticut without serious infrastructure developments of the massive kind.
Also on the side of Vegas sports betting are the trappings, the traditional draws of Sin City since the glory days. Prostitution is no longer legal in either Vegas or most other Nevada counties, but the old tourist board trope “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” can remain completely true – so long as American society continues to accept the city as a discrete adult playground.
Las Vegas: A real American city
Surely the “Sin” will never be erased from “Sin City,” but remove the gambling and adult amusement – just theoretically, mind you – from Las Vegas and amazingly you find … one heck of an interesting cultural phenomenon.
Most extraordinary for those who’ve been visiting Vegas through the decades is the virtual disappearance of dodgy all-you-can-eat buffets in favor of real world-class eateries. Those in the know now recognize Vegas as a top-10 American city for culinary pleasure. (Of course!)
Meanwhile, the most obvious and visible mark of Vegas’s arrival as a major-league city are the top-level sports franchises now calling Nevada home. Once merely the bastion of triple-AAA baseball and XFL football at best, Las Vegas now hosts American sports’ all-time greatest expansion team in the Golden Knights (terrible name, though) and the Las Vegas Raiders. The city will even be hosting America’s single biggest sporting event when the unbelievably, ridiculously appropriately titled Super Bowl LV comes to town in February 2021.