Can legal sports betting, Triple Crown bid revive horse racing?

Updated May 17, 2018 - 10:39 pm

Race books long have been situated next to sports books in Las Vegas, but their close proximity hasn’t slowed the steady decline of wagering on horse racing.

While Nevada’s sports betting handle has skyrocketed from $2.6 billion in 2007 to $4.8 billion in 2017, the state’s racing handle has plummeted from $596.5 million in 2007 to $280.4 million in 2017.

Will the advent of legal sports betting at the nation’s racetracks and casinos give a much-needed boost to the sport of kings?

“It sounds like something that could possibly help. I don’t think it will hurt,” Wynn Las Vegas race and sports book director Johnny Avello said. “If people have to go to the track at another jurisdiction to make a (sports) bet, that could possibly increase the interest and handle for race.”

Takeouts too high

Avello said there are several reasons for the dramatic drop in handle, with the main factor being high takeouts.

“What it comes down to is the takeout in horse racing on a win-place-show bet is 16 percent, and the takeout on an exacta bet could be anywhere from 19 to 30 percent,” he said. “The younger generation bets on sports with a theoretical hold of 4½ percent, and they’ve only got to bet on Team A or B.

“Why are you going to bet 8-5 on a favorite in a race with eight horses when you can put up $11 to make $10 and you’ve only got to beat one other team? The risk factor is not worth it to the younger generation, and that’s why I don’t think they’re in the game.”

New blood needed

The Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont — which comprise horse racing’s Triple Crown — still generate plenty of action and excitement. But Avello said there’s not as much interest in racing on a daily basis.

“We’ve got to do something to get the younger generation interested,” he said. “Horse racing needs new types of bets, maybe with a sports combination of putting both of them together. I’m talking bets with big payoffs of $10 to win $1,000 or something. That might pique some interest.”

Justify-Golden Knights parlay

While it’s not a daily double combined with a three-team parlay, Avello posted a cross-sport parlay prop Thursday that asked the question, “Will Justify win the Triple Crown and the Golden Knights win the Stanley Cup?”

Yes is plus 550, and no is minus 750.

“He’s got a better chance to win the Triple Crown than the Knights do to win the Stanley Cup, but they’re both right there knocking on the door,” Avello said.

Wynn Las Vegas stands to lose six figures if Justify wins the Triple Crown and six figures if the Knights hoist the Cup, so Avello will welcome action on the no.

“The funny part is I’m going to get money on the yes,” he said. “But we’ll have some fun with it.”

Justifiable favorite

Kentucky Derby winner Justify opened as the 1-2 favorite to win Saturday’s Preakness, but the odds are now 1-3 at the Wynn.

“You can’t bet Justify,” Avello said. “If you want to bet Justify, you can bet $1 million to show and pick up $100,000. Or you can use him on top and try to throw everyone else underneath him for exactas, (trifectas) and (superfectas).

“And if you think somebody can beat him, your exacta price goes up significantly higher with the price on the top end. It’s tough betting a race with a small amount of horses.”

SHORT DESCRIPTION (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Dark horses

Good Magic, who placed second in the Derby, is the 3-1 second choice in the Preakness. He’s finished in the money in all six of his starts.

“He’s very capable of winning this race,” Avello said. “I certainly give him a chance.”

Avello expects Quip (12-1) to finish in the top three or four and said to consider using Bravazo (18-1) and Tenfold (22-1) in exotic wagers.

Justify at 60-1 to win Triple Crown

Will Justify win the Triple Crown? Yes is plus 150, and no is minus 170.

“I don’t care if they lay it because we’ve got pretty good exposure,” Avello said.

Wynn opened Justify at 60-1 odds to win the Triple Crown after he won his maiden race in February, and the price was bet to 8-1 before the Kentucky Derby.

“There were a lot of believers in Justify,” Avello said. “They bet him at 60-1, 50-1, 40-1 and all the way down the line. And they were betting him at 8-1.

“There’s not one ticket that wins six figures, but there are a bunch that win five figures.”

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

ad-high_impact_4
Sports Betting Spotlight Videos
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Week 12
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart, and John Lukasik discuss their picks for College Football Week 12.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 11
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart, and John Lukasik discuss their picks for NFL Week 11.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 10
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart, and John Lukasik break down the NFL Week 10 slate.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Week 11
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart, and John Lukasik break down college football week 11 match ups.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 9
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and John Lukasik pick their best bets for week 9 of the NFL football season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Week 10
Description: Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and John Lukasik pick their best bets for week 10 of the college football season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 8
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and John Lukasik pick their best bets for week 8 of the NFL football season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Week 9
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and John Lukasik pick their best bets for week 9 of the college football season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Week 8
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and John Lukasik pick their best bets for week 8 of the college football season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 7
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and John Lukasik pick their best bets for week 7 of the NFL football season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Week 7
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and John Lukasik pick their best bets for week 7 of the college football season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Week 6
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and John Lukasik pick their best bets for week 6 of the college football season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 5
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and John Lukasik pick their best bets for week 5 of the NFL football season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Week 5
Todd Dewey and John Lukasik go over their picks for week five of college football.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 4
Todd Dewey and John Lukasik go over their picks for week four of the NFL.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Week 4
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and The Cromwell sports book director, John Lukasik go over their picks for week four of college football.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 3
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and The Cromwell sports book director, John Lukasik go over their picks for week three of the NFL.
Sports Betting Spotlight: Canelo vs. GGG
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and The Linq Hotel sports book director, John Lukasik go over the lines and their picks for Canelo vs. GGG 2.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Football Week 3
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and The Linq Hotel sports book director, John Lukasik go over their picks for week three of college football.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 2
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and The Linq Hotel sports book director, John Lukasik go over their picks for week two of the NFL.
Sports Betting Spotlight: NFL Week 1
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Matt Holt go over their picks for week one of the NFL.
Sports Betting Spotlight: College Week 2
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and USIntegrity president Matt Holt goes over their picks for week two of college football.
Sports Betting Spotlight: New York Giants
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Sunset Station sports book director Chuck Esposito go over the lines for the 2018 New York Giants season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: New York Giants
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Sunset Station sports book director Chuck Esposito go over the lines for the 2018 New York Giants season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: Buffalo Bills
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Sunset Station sports book director Chuck Esposito go over the lines for the 2018 Buffalo Bills season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: New York Jets
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Sunset Station sports book director Chuck Esposito go over the lines for the 2018 New York Jets season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: Miami Dolphins
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Sunset Station sports book director Chuck Esposito go over the lines for the 2018 Miami Dolphins season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: Atlanta Falcons
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Wynn Sports Book Director Johnny Avello go over how the Atlanta Falcons will perform in the 2018 season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: Carolina Panthers
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Wynn Sports Book Director Johnny Avello go over how the Carolina Panthers will perform in the 2018 season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: New England Patriots
Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Sunset Station sports book director Chuck Esposito go over the lines for the 2018 New England Patriots season.
Sports Betting Spotlight: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Description: Todd Dewey, Kelly Stewart and Wynn Sports Book Director Johnny Avello go over how the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will perform in the 2018 season.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like