World Cup betting lifts sports books

The World Cup didn’t bring Vegas as many big bets as other sports championships do. But the event did supply sports books with a continuous flow during a slow summer.

“From June to July is usually a dead period for us, other than the NBA Finals and baseball,” says Johnny Avello, Wynn Las Vegas executive director of race and sports operations.

“So it was a nice filler,” he says. “I really enjoyed having it.”

The Super Bowl, Sweet 16 and Final Four lure loads of big bets ($50,000 and higher). The World Cup brought three kinds of fans: Some bet big; some bet small; some just watched.

“We don’t mind that, but that’s how the breakdown went,” he says.

In Europe, World Cup betting is bigger than the Super Bowl.

“Here, I guess our players are still getting used to the game,” Avello says.

For instance, Avello offered lines on scoring in regulation and in injury time, but also on yellow cards and corner kicks, among other things.

“A lot of people don’t even know what the hell that means,” he says, amused. “Our betting public is learning about it.

“It’s never gonna rate the money in this country that these other sports have, but I’m glad we have it.”

His line for Sunday’s final was Spain by a half-point. If you took champ Spain, you lost because the victory didn’t come in regulation. Anyone who took the Netherlands won. Comprende?

Another ‘pawn stars’ drop-by

While Boyz II Men were in town to play The Orleans, singer Nathan Morris dropped by Gold & Silver Pawn Shop to chat with the co-stars of Vegas’ reality show “Pawn Stars.”

“I bought a piece of jewelry,” Morris told me Monday. “I bought it just to say I bought something from ‘Pawn Stars.’ ”

He knew from the TV show that the store carries unusual goods, yet he was still surprised to see the various stuff, from shotguns to Confederate bills and solar panels, he said.

The store is piling up celebrity stop-bys. John Mayer spent three hours there checking out watch collections. Others: Paramore singer Hayley Williams and New Found Glory guitarist Chad Gilbert; Rich Gannon; Brock Lesnar; Ed “Too Tall” Jones; various NASCAR drivers; and oddly a Sharpie exec who gave co-stars Sharpies with “Pawn Star” logos.


So during World Cup weekend, where was Landon Donovan, the man who scored that dramatic, late goal against Algeria to advance team USA? On Saturday, the forward lay out at Liquid Pool Lounge, posed for photos, danced to the vibe of DJ Loczi, then asked the DJ to teach him how to spin. … Floyd Mayweather Jr. partied Sunday at club Vanity in the “Official Penthouse Afterhouse Party.” And UFC champ and poster boy Georges St-Pierre was in Vanity but kept it low-key at a VIP table with friends. Patrick Ewing was in the house too, as was Tyronn Lue, the former Laker, and current Celtics director of basketball development, who took young talent to two VIP booths. … Mayweather also partied Friday at club Gold with New England Patriot Antone Smith and seven others. They sipped champagne behind ropes. … St-Pierre ate at Yellowtail on Saturday, wrapping his meal with the “Happy Ending” cocktail. … Pam Anderson kept her belated birthday running late Saturday night at club Tao. Oh, she got her some attention. She took a seat on a dance-floor table, with tattoo artist Mario Barth and crazy-looking fashion designer Richie Rich (the former club kid). … Cobra Starship singer Gabe Saporta ate at Yellowtail on Friday and performed at club Haze, but he also checked out the Cataracs performing Friday at club Bank. … Ex-“Bachelor” Andrew Firestone bronzed at Hard Rock Hotel Beach Club on Saturday with wife Ivana Bozilovic.

C’est bizarre

Wednesday at 7 p.m., Marche Bacchus bistro in Summerlin celebrates Bastille Day with sky divers with red, white and blue smoke streamers. They plan to crash in the pond there named Lake Jacqueline.

Doug Elfman’s column appears Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays. E-mail him at He blogs at

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