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Golden Knights could cost Las Vegas millions if they win the Stanley Cup

The betting line for the first game of the Stanley Cup Final will be shown at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino. (1
965-9002) LAS VEGAS – At the time, Nick Bogdanovich thought he was giving the Vegas Golden Knights a pretty good chance of winning. Bogdanovich's William Hill sports betting list the city's hockey team as 250-to-1 long-shots to win the Stanley Cup in their first year of existence. The real chances before the season, he said, should have been closer to 2,500 to 1.

"Every expert ended it as the last or penultimate in the Western Conference," said Bogdanovich, William Hill's chief opportunist.

With the Golden Knights bringing a game advantage to Game 2 on Wednesday night, William Hill could claim three Vegas victories before losing just under $ 2 million. A weather is for $ 1,000 on a 50-1 ticket. Another has $ 200 at 200-1. And there are many smaller bets placed at 250-1.

Casinos along the Strip are facing similar circumstances, and the total liability in Las Vegas is estimated at $ 5-7 million, which would probably mean the city's biggest loss to futures betting

"We'll be wrong, and we'll just have to pay," said Bogdanovich. "That's just the nature of the beast."

These Stanley Cup Finals are a unique case study, a nexus of homeland interests and legal sports betting. With states across the country annulling a federal law that had previously banned sports betting, states could soon find an easier way to both rooted and financially interested in their favorite games. The series also highlights the risks, especially for the house. In Las Vegas, the locals have supported the Long Shot and the casinos are now ready for a big hit.

While seven-digit losses on the surface sound big, casinos are used to occasionally taking their lumps. Jay Kornegay, who runs the sports betting at Westgate Las Vegas, compared the potential success with a really bad weekend during the football season.

With hundreds – and probably much more – Golden Knights tickets floating in the city, bets were made for months in advance are suddenly big deals. PropSwap is a secondary sports book marketplace that allows players to unload active cash guaranteed tickets instead of waiting for the game or event.

"It's a chance for you to get rich and your team can still win," said co-founder Luke Pergande. "Some people may describe it as an emotional hedge."

The largest Vegas ticket currently listed on PropSwap was originally purchased for $ 300 at odds of 400 to 1. It would pay out $ 120,000 if the knights win three more games. Weather could buy this ticket now for the price of $ 95,000.

Pergande knows the risks and rewards. Finally, he bought a $ 50 ticket in October at a rate of 500 to 1. "I did not think they would win the trophy," he said, "but I knew the number did not feel right."

After the hot launch of the Knights, he sold the ticket in November for $ 550, a tenfold return on his investment. The new owner of this ticket will now earn $ 25,000.

"I have no regrets," said Pergande. "I basically met a 10 to 1 winner and paid my rent, who will cry about it?"

Oddsmakers in the city agree that most of the Golden Knights tickets were bought as souvenirs, a keepsake for Fans to shape and save them. Kornegay said that he has still heard from fans who recently claimed that they were already convinced in October that the knights were destined for the final.

"I do not believe them." Oh, I saw it coming. "Of course you have," he said with a giggle. "Then why did you only bet a whole $ 10?"

There is at least one such hockey fan who has already cashed in a big ticket and insists he had a good feeling ahead of the season in which Vegas would reach the finals in their first season. He also predicted that they would compete against the caps. Motivated by historical trends and player premonitions, a Washington man named Howard dropped a pair of bets in early October. (The Washington Post agreed to use only its first name as its bet was made with an online sportsbook.) He felt good about the Caps and Golden Knights and bet $ 100 on Vegas to reach the finals and another $ 100 on the caps to win everything. At odds of 300 to 1, the Golden Knights paid $ 30,000 after winning the Western Conference. Howard can win another $ 1,000 if the caps – at 10-1 odds – manage to raise the trophy.

Howard believed in George McPhee, the general manager of Vegas, and felt good about new goalkeeper Marc-Andre Fleury. He firmly believed that the team and the city would respond to mass shootings in October, much like the Red Sox who won the 2013 World Series after the bombing of the Boston Marathon. "It dawned on me how tragedies can motivate a team and motivate players to another level [and] inspire a fan base to engage more," he said.

The hockey team has certainly become a rallying point for Las Vegas The arrival of the Golden Knights changed the nature of hockey betting in Las Vegas. It has historically been a low-dollar business for sports books, but interest in the team sent many new fans rushing to the betting windows.

The professional players who counted on a dreadful team were crushed and re-converted from day one. Puckheads continued to bet, courtesy of a team that broke everyone's expectations.

"Look, I've been in the business since 1986. I said I thought it would boost hockey a bit, but nothing substantial," said Bogdanovich. "I think the main reason I was wrong is that they got off to a fast start and won from day one, the whole town drank and many of them started betting on hockey as soon as they started Look, they liked it, they started betting and they won money, and the whole thing rocketed and jumped. "

Kornegay estimates his sportsbook will be 15-20 times more action at Golden Knights competitions than other NHL games. Games. And because the Golden Knights usually won – a 47-31 record against the spread, including 28-13 at home, the local fans who betting their hearts often won.

Home team bets were largely a new experience for locals. Although sports books have been betting on UNLV games since 2001, the Golden Knights were the first major gambling-friendly local sporting event that could overtake the entire community.

Kornegay is a longtime bookmaker, but also a sports fan and a golden ticket holder of the age of knights. He knows that his employer will lose money in this series, but he also knows that the team is a great asset to the local community.

"Most of us are all around them," he said. "When we book games, we always book for the best interests of our business, but when I go, I can put on my fan hat and become root for our team, everyone is on board, and happy to have something like the Golden Knights.

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