Updated February 3, 2019 - 9:45 am
Jay Kornegay has moves like Jagger. I know this. I have seen him groove during shows at Westgate’s International Theater. But Kornegay is not posting odds on that Maroon 5 song, or listing any entertainment-related odds, during Sunday’s Super Bowl.
The vice president of Westgate Las Vegas Superbook and a veteran of the “prop bet” phenomenon says most potential bettors are confused about which Super Bowl odds are actually the board in Vegas casinos.
“They see on TV, in other media outlets, whether it’s what song Maroon 5 is going to sing first, if Mick Jagger is going to hop on the stage, what color dress is Gisele (Bundchen, Tom Brady’s supermodel wife) going to wear,” Kornegay said Thursday afternoon at the Superbook while recording my latest PodKats! podcast show. “I go, No, you can’t!’ ”
Confusion about what types of wagers are permitted in Nevada sports books even reached the federal intelligent community. Kornegay was recently questioned about bets that seemed posted everywhere but his own Superbook.
“I actually had an FBI agent in my office in my office six weeks ago to talk about those propositions with us,” Kornegay said. “I informed him that those are not legal in Nevada. He goes, ‘Wow, that’s a big relief. We were concerned about that.’ Obviously somebody knows what color of hair (2017 halftime headliner) Lady Gaga is going to have, somebody knows what color Gatorade is going to be in those barrels.”
“Somebody,” in this instance, being such a player as Rams running back Todd Gurley. He let it spill on Twitter that the Rams’ favorite Gatorade flavor is Ice Punch. That spiked speculation that Gurley had tipped off those who wanted to wager on which color of liquid would be poured on the winning coach (Ice Punch is actually colorless). But again, that prop is offered only on offshore sites, not in Nevada, and surely not at the Superbook.
Kornegay said his visiting federal agent was “relieved” to know his sports book wasn’t putting that bet on the board. “He said, ‘We see these wagers all the time, we see them in all these outlets.’ … I talked to other media outlets across the country, and I’d say four out of five people believe we accept those types of wagers here.
Kornegay says more money is put down on prop bets than on the game itself. Vegas Golden Knights fans have several options, including whether the Golden Knights will have more Stanley Cup playoff victories than the combined number of touchdowns between the two Super Bowl teams. Such inventive prop bets cloud what is and isn’t legal; it’s not such a stretch to consider a bet on Mick Jagger showing up at the halftime show.
“When see these stories, I don’t know where they get them from,” Kornegay said. “It’s across social media, but they’ve become like urban myths.”
The first prop bet ever posted in Nevada is widely believed to be whether Chicago Bears’ defensive end William “Refrigerator” Perry would score a touchdown against the Patriots in Super Bowl XX in 1986. That happened three years before Kornegay arrived in Las Vegas. The line opened at 100-to-1 at Barbary Coast that Perry would not reach the end zone.
“People bet it down to 10-to-1 or 6-to-1,” Kornegay said. “Of course, he scored, and the books just got destroyed on that proposition. Today, it would open at 3-to-1.” It would be a legal wager, too.
Taking root in April
The Wormwood Tree at “Absinthe’s” Spiegeltent is due to premiere at the show’s eighth anniversary on April 1. Spiegelworld founder and “improssario” Ross Mollison has posted a few pics in Instagram of the structure as it is hauled to Caesars Palace. On a June 25 post, Mollison is shown drilling into the walkway entering the Spiegeltent, referring to the moment as “The Official Seed Planting Ceremony.”
The Wormwood Tree is illuminated forestry from the Burning Man event held annually in northwest Nevada. The visage stands 35 feet tall and is trimmed with 25,000 multicolored LED lights.
George Strait, playing T-Mobile Arena on Friday and Saturday nights, announced his latest album, “Honky Tonk Time Machine,” will be out March 29. Great title — which would also have worked for Human Nature’s next production (I kid of course). Point is that Strait, who recorded such classics as”All My Ex’s Live In Texas,” has a way with a phrase.
No Storm screening
Sadly, plans for the Las Vegas screening of the documentary “Tempest Storm” have unraveled. The film was to be shown at The Space to mark Storm’s 90th birthday on Feb. 28 (she’s actually a Leap Year baby, born in 1929. But the event could not secure sponsorship, and the suggested $90 ticket price for the screening was (correctly) deemed not feasible. Still, Storm’s manager and partner Harvey Robbins is still seeking someone to help underwrite the show.
Celestia pushed back
The original opening date of Celestia, the tented acrobatic show at Stratosphere, came and went last week with no show performed. The show’s planned opening of Jan.. 30 was moved to Feb. 27 “to accommodate required enhancements to the production’s physical structure and audience experience,” according to a news release issued a couple of weeks ago. Sasha Ivanov of the live-production company Intrigue Shows is the show’s writer and director. He a stage veteran and the former associate music director for Cirque du Soleil’s touring production “Kooza.”
Jeremy Piven wants to build on his scheduled performance at Treasure Island’s Mystere Theater on Friday night. “I want this to be a success and come back. That’s the idea,” said Piven, who hadn’t realized the venue was home to a Cirque du Soleil production until we talked last week. “No way! That’s amazing,” was Piven’s response to that news … “We Are Here,” the Spiegelworld dance show, is planning a spring opening on the Strip. Nile Rodgers of Chic (“Le freak, see’est Chic!”) is managing the music. Steven Hoggett of “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” on Broadway directs … Anytime, is when we’ll her a psychic announcement out of the Venetian’s Sands Showroom … This weekend, Chris Hodgson is leaving the role of Stefan he’s performed so ably with “Sex Tips For A Straight Woman From A Gay Man” at Paris Las Vegas. Colin Cahill, with swing George Blick, take over the role …
John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His PodKats podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at email@example.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.