Willy Wonka has nothing on Las Vegas sports books when it comes to selling Golden tickets.
Thirteen wagers were placed on the Golden Knights at 500-1 odds to win the Stanley Cup at the Westgate sports book during the preseason. William Hill sports book took 350 futures bets on the Knights at 100-1 or higher.
Those long-shot wagers and would-be souvenirs suddenly have been magically transformed into virtual Golden tickets by arguably the greatest expansion team in sports history.
The Knights still are eight victories from winning the Stanley Cup, but their backers can lock in a healthy profit now by selling their futures bets on PropSwap.com.
A startup secondary market for active sports wagers in Las Vegas, PropSwap, has sold 20 Knights bets and has five futures tickets for sale, including a $400 wager at 300-1 odds that pays $120,000. That ticket is on sale for $40,000.
“Just like StubHub does for Golden Knights tickets, we do for Golden Knights bets,” said Ian Epstein, who founded PropSwap with Luke Pergande. “We’re a broker. There are people with sports bets that want to sell, and we go out and find buyers for that.”
PropSwap, which takes 10 percent of the sale price, also has a $300 ticket on the Knights at 100-1 odds that pays $30,000 on sale for $13,500.
In both cases, the seller is willing to accept less than the sale price, considering the Knights are now the 3-1 second choice to win the NHL title.
“All these are open for bidding,” Epstein said. “We can negotiate.”
A 500-1 ticket — a $50 wager to win $25,000 — was sold on PropSwap for $550 in November. The buyer put it back up for sale for as much as $4,400 but has since taken it off the market. Another 500-1 bet — $20 to win $10,000 — also is in the company’s database but isn’t for sale, either.
“If you bet a 500-1 ticket and sold it today, you would make 125 times your money,” Pergande said. “When’s the last time you’ve hit a 125-1 long shot?”
Other sales of Knights tickets included a $70 wager at 200-1 odds to win $14,000 that sold for $250 in November. The same ticket was sold again for $1,400 in March.
A $100 ticket at 100-1 odds to win $10,000 recently sold for $1,750, and a $10 ticket at 150-1 odds to win $1,500 sold for $660 on Monday.
“My advice to Knights fans would be to sell your ticket, lock in a profit and enjoy the rest of the Stanley Cup playoffs,” Epstein said. “No one ever went broke taking a profit.”
Pergande said many Knights backers have resisted selling their tickets lest they be considered less than a true fan.
“It doesn’t make you any less of a fan if you sell your bet,” he said. “You’re still rooting for the Knights. You just like money.”
In January, PropSwap sold for $3,450 a bettor’s $50 ticket at 200-1 odds to win $10,000 on the Knights winning the Pacific Division. The seller made more than $3,000, and the buyer ultimately turned a profit of $6,550.
The Knights continue to fuel a seller’s market, as they’ve yet to trail in a playoff series. But Epstein cautions that they will be underdogs in the Western Conference Final and won’t have home-ice advantage.
“These guys who have Knights bets have never had their backs against the wall,” he said. “They think this roller coaster is going to keep going up and up and it’s never going to stop. … We’re trying to put money in your pocket.”
William Hill would lose more than $1 million if the Knights hoist the Cup, and Wynn Las Vegas sports book director Johnny Avello estimates the state’s sports books would lose $5 million to $10 million.