SBD/Issue 51/Sports & Society

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  • Losing Juice: Economic Downturn Hurting Las Vegas Sports Books

    Las Vegas Sports Books See Revenue Drop
    About 10% Compared To 2007
    The economic downturn is "hurting the Las Vegas sports books, with their revenue down about 10% from 2007," according to Lance Pugmire of the L.A. TIMES. Las Vegas Hilton Race & Sports Book Dir Jay Kornegay said that when the NFL season started in September, Las Vegas' sports betting volume for the year was "below its 2008 levels ... because horse-racing betting is down and baseball and hockey interest remains flat." Some veteran gamblers said that Las Vegas sports books are "hurting because they won't compete with the lower fees and more creative betting options offered by Internet gambling operations." Gambler Richard Dunberg: "Why do they deserve the action from the locals when they ask us to lay $110 to win $100, when we know online it's $105? At the end of the year, that difference is enormous." MGM Mirage Race & Sports Dir Jay Rood said Las Vegas sports books have "tried" to offer more specialized bets, but "then no one bets it." Rood: "It's not that we're afraid to do it, but the interest doesn't seem to be there" (L.A. TIMES, 11/22).

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