A New York native, Vinny Magliulo is a VSiN oddsmaker and the sportsbook director for Gaughan Gaming in Las Vegas. He moved to Vegas 40 years ago to pursue a career that included running the sportsbooks at Caesars Palace and Wynn Las Vegas. Catch Vinny with Brent Musburger on “My Guys in the Desert,” weekdays from 6 to 8 p.m. on VSiN.com, fubuTV and SiriusXM 204.
LAS VEGAS — As the Super Bowl approaches, it’s no surprise lines for taxi cabs and ride sharing at the airport are much longer than a normal weekday. Hotel occupancy is near 100 percent, restaurant reservations are at a premium and folks are two- and three-deep at every tavern.
Of course, everyone from bartenders to barbers and dancers to divas has an opinion and “knows” which team will win. Impassioned Patriots and Rams fans adorned in official team jerseys are exchanging pleasantries in bars, hotel lobbies and parking lots all over the city. Add to this an American institution known the world over — the willingness (and even tradition) of putting up cold, hard cash to back your side — and you’ve got one of the ultimate sports spectacles of the year.
The images I’m describing aren’t taking place in or near Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium; people are hoisting beers and betting two-fisted from Fremont Street to Las Vegas Boulevard. Super Bowl weekend in Las Vegas (and all over Nevada) will host more visitors (300,000-plus) than the game’s host city. And one of the biggest reasons is the menu; not the one in the 24-hour coffee shops, but propositions menus offering more than 900 different ways to bet the Super Bowl.
Last year a record $158,587,000 was wagered in Nevada on the Super Bowl, making it the single-most-wagered event of the year. I believe this year’s game will generate another record handle for several key reasons. First, the Rams were backed heavily all year long and the Patriots have been a public team during this Bill Belichick/Tom Brady dynasty. Next, the creative proposition offerings continue to grow in popularity. Add in the ability for people (residents and in-state visitors) to utilize mobile app account wagering, which includes the increasingly popular in-game lines, and you’ve got betting action available around the clock.
You often speak of tracking the sharps, and your site tracks five-figure bets on the Super Bowl, which are currently running 15 to 1 for the Pats. Are these five-figure “whales” considered to be sharps, and have they been right in previous Super Bowls? — Paul from N.J.
Vinny: Thanks, Paul. Not all five- and six-figure bets are made by sharps (professional sports bettors). It’s important to realize that with so much information available — and in the case of the Super Bowl where there’s attention to all aspects — people are making more educated betting choices and doing so with conviction! Not all “whales” are pros; some are fishermen who sometimes net the cash!
I’m a casual bettor. With so many different kinds of bets available on the Super Bowl, what’s your recommendation on betting the game? — Rebecca, Brooklyn
Vinny: Your question is an important one, Rebecca, because it’s very easy to overdo it. The game and the propositions we post can be confusing, even overwhelming to some people. Remember these basics: Like all gambling, stay within your means. Don’t overextend yourself just because of the game’s magnitude. Budget your bankroll to include the game (if you like a side), and pick out some propositions. If you don’t prefer either team, consider the Total Over or Under. Some people make the mistake of trying to bet the big game too big. By staying disciplined, you’ll enjoy the game with a little action and maybe make a few dollars.
Will there come the time when I can simply have an account for a book outside of my state? — Pete in California
Vinny: Thanks Pete; as a California resident, you can have a betting account (phone app) for a sportsbook. However, you must be within the state of Nevada to utilize the app, and it has a geographic positioning requirement by regulation. This is a consistent requirement in the other jurisdictions that offer sports wagering. As the expansion continues, I believe existing laws will be reviewed, but sports betting across state lines won’t happen in the near future.
Have a question for Vinny? Email [email protected]