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Sportsbooks’ $6.6M loss on Golden Knights shatters state record

The Nevada Gaming Control Board has only been tracking hockey bets since January 2020. But the state’s sportsbooks’ $6.6 million loss in June — when the Golden Knights won their first Stanley Cup title — shattered the monthly record for largest loss.

The previous mark was set in July 2022, when books lost $1.2 million the month after the Avalanche won the Stanley Cup.

Books lost $1.1 million in October 2020, the month after the Lightning won the Stanley Cup.

The Knights were 20-1 at Circa Sports to win the Cup when the season started and 10-1 at the Westgate SuperBook when the playoffs started.

According to GCB senior economic analyst Michael Lawton, winning future wagers on the Knights that were cashed by customers in June were reflected in the monthly total.

“I would expect as we have historically seen, there will be additional bets cashed in July which were not paid out by books during June,” Lawton said.

The state’s hockey betting handle, or amount of money wagered, in June was $30.9 million.

A BetMGM bettor in Nevada made a $10,000 wager to win $140,000 on the Knights at 14-1 to win the Cup. Circa Sports bettor Jon Grace won about $130,000 on the Knights in the Stanley Cup Final, including more than $111,000 in futures parlays.

“Now that sports gaming is spreading across the country, we’ve been preaching that whenever the local team does well and/or wins a championship, you’re going to lose. It’s as simple as that,” Westgate SuperBook vice president Jay Kornegay said. “We look at it as part of doing business.”

Kornegay and members of his staff split season tickets to the Knights and are big fans, along with Circa owner Derek Stevens and others in the sports betting industry. They were thrilled to see the home team hoist the Cup despite their books taking a hit.

“I talked to a couple of our fellow operators here in town, and everybody was fine with it,” Kornegay said. “We are still rooting for our Knights, our Raiders, our Aces and our Rebels.”

Along with cashing futures bets to win the Cup, the Knights rewarded bettors by winning four of five games and covering the -1½ puck line and going over the total in three of them, whipping the Panthers 9-3 in Game 5 to clinch the title at T-Mobile Arena.

“Local properties don’t fare well on the Knights when they win by two goals or more and it goes over,” Kornegay said.

The Knights are 10-1 co-favorites at the SuperBook to repeat as Stanley Cup champions with the Avalanche, Oilers, Maple Leafs, Hurricanes and Devils.

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at tdewey@reviewjournal.com. Follow @tdewey33 on Twitter.

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