How To Get Started In Sports Betting Industry

Post NHL & NBA Finals have always been the slowest time of year in our sports betting industry. When I got started in this business, only baseball and horse racing were available in the books

in the summer. While the All-Star Game gives a majority of MLB players a break, on our side of the counter we’ve added more variety to the betting board. Now golf (including a couple of majors), the NBA summer league & WNBA, MMA cards, tennis, soccer (especially the Women’s World Cup) and NASCAR attract betting interest.

But we’re always in look-ahead mode for what bettors & bookies crave – FOOTBALL! Numbers for both college and pro opening weeks are posted. And considering that these numbers will be up for four months so summer visitors can play them during their stay, these opening games have some of the highest regular season betting handle of the year. Championship Futures have been up since last winter, but now include divisions and/or conferences. There are regular season win totals posted and Yes/No to make the playoffs. Some samples are: No -700 Patriots OV/ UN 11 Yes -850/ No 575 Cowboys OV/UN 9 Yes 105 No -125. Clemson OV/UN 11½, Alabama OV/ UN 11, Notre Dame OV/UN 9½ Penn State OV/UN 8

  • . How about some Games of the Year: Sept. 21 Oregon -2½ at Stanford, Oct 12 Oklahoma -4 ½ vs. Texas in Dallas, Nov. 2 Miami-Fla. at FSU Pick’em, Nov. 30 Alabama -14½ at Auburn, Michigan -2

  • hosting Ohio State. How about this three-

way proposition for the national title: Alabama/ Oklahoma/Ohio State 3-2, Clemson/Georgia/ Michigan 6-5, Field 3-1. These are a sampling as there will be more propositions to come – the Hall of Fame Game is Aug. 1 between the Broncos and Falcons!

Now for the questions . . .

I don’t want to relocate, but do you think I should work in Las Vegas for a while to get started? — Christie in Philadelphia

I have 25 years experience as a management finance professional; what can I do now to make myself attractive for when betting opens in my state? — Rob W. in Massachusetts

Vinny: I’m happy to say this is a common inquiry with the expansion of sports betting. Like all endeavors, experience helps but is not necessary. In fact, some of my best employees over the years had no sportsbook (or horse racing) experience prior to working with me.

I’m a firm believer in honesty, courtesy, respect, a positive attitude and common sense. With those traits in mind, I recommend:

  • Following sports closely.

  • Reading about our industry (particularly in terms of terminology).

  • Going to a sportsbook in your area to look over the materials and house rules.

  • Checking to see if there are any gaming classes nearby or online. Some resorts offer gaming

classes on-site. Frankly, the Vegas Stats & Information Network is a great resource. When I helped create VSiN a few years ago with my colleagues/friends and the Musburgers, one of our goals was to educate people about our industry.

If possible, apply for a job as a ticket writer; it’s the best entry-level position to break into the business. I’m not suggesting leaving your current job, but perhaps you can get started part time.

Just as important, there are things not to do: Don’t think because you know about sports and betting that you know it all. While the basic knowledge helps, always be prepared to learn something. After more than 40 years in this business, I pick up something every day!

It’s been over a year now, so with the expansion of sports wagering available in other states, has Las Vegas seen a decline in business? — Paul M. in Connecticut

Vinny: The first time I was asked this question was in the mid-to-late 1970s when casinos opened on the boardwalk in Atlantic City. As was the case then, Las Vegas has not experienced a decline

in business volume. While gaming revenue (the amount won or lost) has fluctuated, visitor volume continues to increase and sports betting handle has not declined.

Let’s bear in mind that gaming in general has expanded in the United States for the past 40 years — and so has Las Vegas. Our city is an event- driven destination and people come here for the “Las Vegas Experience.” The entertainment, sports, dining, shopping and adjacent travel options coincide with the gaming variety offered here.

I’m actually fine with other states now offering sports wagering. In my opinion, what we saw with expanded casino wagering over the years will also relate to sports wagering: it’s more mainstream than ever and is helping to create new customers. I won’t deny some people may make fewer trips to Las Vegas than they did in previous years, but they’ll still come and so will others — new visitors who want to experience everything we offer. As always, Las Vegas is a solid bet!

How was the May 19 A’s-Tigers game graded? — David Davis

Vinny: The game was suspended in the middle of the seventh inning with the visiting A’s leading 5-3. Because Oakland scored two runs in the top of the seventh and the Tigers didn’t get a chance to bat, the remainder of the game was rescheduled for Sept. 6. But for sportsbooks, the event is over.

At the South Point, all wagers on the first five innings sides were refunded as a “push” because the score was 3-3. The Over in the first five innings was paid. As for the game, all wagers on the sides, totals and run-lines were refunded for two reasons: The game didn’t go a minimum of nine innings (8 ½ innings if the home team is ahead); and even though the A’s took the lead in the top of the seventh inning, the game was a tie for wagering purposes because the home team Tigers did not bat in the seventh. Our rules stipulate in this situation, the score reverts to the last completed inning.

Have a question for Vinny? Email AskVinny@VSiN.

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