Casino Owner’s Michigan Basketball Bet Could Net $1 Million

Written By Marc Meltzer on March 29, 2018
upward shot of basketball net

Derek Stevens, owner of The D and Golden Gate casinos in downtown Las Vegas, has a March Madness wager pending that could return $1 million!

Stevens has 40-1 wager on Michigan Wolverines basketball team

The Nevada casino owner wagered $25,000 on the University of Michigan to win the NCAA basketball tournament at 40-1 at the Golden Nugget sportsbook on March 3. He placed that wager before the Wolverines won the Big 10 basketball tournament. It was also made before the brackets for March Madness were selected.

In celebration of this wager, Stevens is hosting a Final Four viewing party at The Longbar inside The D. The man with the million-dollar wager will be watching and rooting for his beloved Michigan Wolverines at the bar right on the casino floor. It’s not often you get a chance to watch a basketball game with a casino operator.

Stevens is no stranger to big wagers

This $25,000 bet on the University of Michigan isn’t the first time Derek Stevens has made a large sports bet. He always seems to be looking for a big score from the NCAA basketball tournament. In 2015, he wagered $20,000 on Michigan State University. Unfortunately, his hopes for a million dollar win were dashed when the Spartans lost to Duke.

In 2017, he wagered on the University of Michigan. The $12,500 bet had long odds at 80-1. Again this was a losing wager. The University of Michigan lost to the University of Oregon in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA basketball tournament.

In addition to the big bets on teams from his home state, he placed $11,000 wagers on every first-round game of the NCAA basketball tournament this year.

This was the second-straight year that Stevens appeared live on the air Vegas Stats & Information Network (VSiN) with Brent Musburger while South Point bookmakers set point spreads live on the air as the brackets were announced. According to the Las Vegas Sun, he netted $16,000 from the first round wagers.

Should Stevens hedge his bet?

Earlier this week Stevens asked his Twitter followers if he should hedge his bet to guarantee he walks away with some money. Stevens has been mum on whether or not he hedged the bet. The hotel’s PR team did not respond when asked for comment. VSiN’s Gill Alexander offered some advice.

The first weekend of March Madness gets all the hype and draws a larger crowd to Las Vegas than the Final Four. The potential to see a million-dollar payout happen brings some sizzle to downtown Las Vegas for the semi-final of the NCAA basketball tournament.

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Marc Meltzer

Marc grew up on the mean streets of the South Bronx. He's the rare combination of Yankees and Jets fan which explains his often contrarian point of view. Marc is a freelance writer and social media consultant. Writing about steak, booze, gambling and Las Vegas is a tough job but somebody has to do it.

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