Depending on the day or time of year, the hottest ticket in town often gets you into a Strip showroom to see a headline performer or show and in the case of the T-Mobile Arena, a chance to cheer on our beloved Vegas Golden Knights.
But come this Saturday, the hottest ticket -- in fact, tickets -- will be purchased by the tens of thousands at the betting counters of Nevada’s race and sports books. While race wagering in Nevada is around 6% of what sports betting handles, the Kentucky Derby is the one race that everyone gets in on. Like the Super Bowl and first four days of March Madness, it’s another social event that brings visitors and locals together throughout the Silver State.
More money is wagered on the Derby than on any other horse race of the year. Like the Super Bowl, it’s a sporting event that appeals to the masses and gets the public’s attention. Popular trainers and jockeys along with a pretty wide-open field make for a great betting event on our side of the counter. Last year $139,200,000 was bet on the Kentucky Derby nationally, with Nevada contributing $5,600,000 to that amount.
Other factors, such as post position, weather, the horses going a mile and a quarter for the first time, not to mention performing in front of nearly 160,000 people, add to the handicapping intrigue.
In Louisville, the horses run for the roses while here in Las Vegas the bettors run to the counter.