Nevada Continues To See Fewer And Fewer Options For Sports Bettors

Posted on August 20, 2020 - Last Updated on September 22, 2020

There are fewer sports betting options for Nevada gamblers today than when the year started. While the number of physical sportsbooks has increased in the past 2o years, the number of sportsbook operators continues to decrease.

According to the UNLV Center For Gaming Research, there were 165 sportsbooks in Nevada in 2000. As of the beginning of the year, there were 191 sportsbooks in the state. That’s a modest 15% increase in the past 20 years.

As sportsbooks grow and operators shrink, the market becomes less attractive for bettors.

Casino and sportsbook consolidation

There was a time when a sports bettor in Nevada could stand on the corner of Flamingo and Las Vegas Boulevard and get four different odds from four different sportsbook operators. This was known as the “Four Corners” for sports bettors.

Today, a bettor can only get odds from two sportsbook operators at the same location. BetMGM at Bellagio offers one set of odds. Bally’s, Caesars Palace and The Cromwell (currently closed) all offer the same second set.

The Nevada casino industry has consolidated a lot over the years. MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment, for example, operate the majority of casinos on the Vegas Strip.

In a matter of weeks, William Hill will operate more sportsbooks in Nevada and on the Vegas Strip than any other company.  It is currently in the process of taking over operations and providing odds for the Caesars books.

Competition among Nevada sportsbooks is good for bettors

Competition is good for the consumer for a number of reasons. When businesses have to compete, there’s a better chance that they’ll create new or better products and services. In sports betting, this would mean improved retail and mobile sportsbooks.

When there are businesses competing for customers, they have to stay ahead of the competition. In addition to better products, competition could bring better pricing.

Just like when retail outlets slash prices to outperform other stores, having more sportsbooks should mean better odds, lines, and point spreads.

Beginning September, sports bettors will have two fewer sportsbooks to “shop” for lines. Gill Alexander from the Vegas Sports and Information Network (VSiN) adds that “a lack of competition minimizes the incentive for sportsbooks to create a great betting experience for the consumer.”

Increased competition isn’t only good for the customer. Better products and pricing often brings more customers. The more people spending money with a business, the more profitable that business should be. This goes for anything from gambling to buying cars.

William Hill expansion

William Hill is a relatively new company in Nevada. The company started in England and entered the Nevada sportsbook market in 2011. William Hill purchased American Wagering (Leroy’s), Club Cal Neva sportsbooks and Brandywine Bookmaking.

In 2012, William Hill was granted approval by the Nevada Gaming Commission to complete the acquisitions and begin operation. William Hill now operates more than 100 sportsbooks in Nevada.

In total, the company operates US sportsbooks in 10 states, Washington, DC, and the Bahamas.

Thanks to a deal with Eldorado Resorts in 2018, William Hill is now operating sportsbooks at all Caesars Entertainment properties in Nevada. Eldorado Resorts completed a merger with Caesars just last month.

Over the weekend, the company added its signage to the iconic Caesars Palace Sportsbook. The company started taking over operations of different Caesars sportsbooks during the week.

William Hill isn’t done expanding in Las Vegas. The company received approval to purchase CG Technology by the Nevada Gaming Control Board. If all goes as expected the Nevada Gaming Commission will approve the recommendation on Aug. 27.

A source familiar with the situation tells PlayNevada that William Hill expects to begin operation of the following CG Technology sportsbooks beginning Sept. 1:

  • Cosmopolitan
  • The Venetian
  • Silverton

These aren’t the only CG Technology sportsbooks in Las Vegas. The Palazzo, Palms and Tropicana sportsbooks are all currently closed, however.

CG Technology used to run the sportsbook at the Hard Rock as well. The property is currently closed and being renovated to become the first Virgin Hotel in Las Vegas.

New sportsbooks coming to Nevada

With all the recent consolidation, Nevada sports bettors are excited for any new sportsbook operators and wagering options in the state.

Circa Sports burst onto the scene in 2019 with a new app and satellite sportsbooks at Golden Gate Casino and The D in downtown Las Vegas. The next Circa sportsbook will open in October at Circa Resort and Casino.

Earlier this year, MGM Resorts switched its sportsbook operation to its new BetMGM platform. Not much is different from the old platform. BetMGM odds in Nevada still originate in Las Vegas, unlike BetMGM in other states.

Mohegan Sun will operate the casino at the previously mentioned Virgin Las Vegas. The company is bringing a new sportsbook partner to Nevada. Betfred will operate the sportsbook at Virgin. The company will also offer a new retail experience and sports betting app.

This will give bettors in the state a new place to shop for the best lines.

Looking for more sports betting options

Nevada sports bettors are looking for new sportsbook options even if it comes at the cost of an existing operator. In 2018, Boyd Gaming announced a partnership with daily fantasy sports (DFS) and sportsbook operator FanDuel.

FanDuel sportsbooks are opening at Boyd properties around the country. However, Boyd continues to operate is own sportsbooks in Nevada. Even a mere rumor about FanDuel coming to Nevada sets off a whirlwind of excitement.

PlayNevada reached out to FanDuel for comment and the company simply said:

“This not [sic] accurate.”

A little more sleuthing shows Boyd Gaming is switching platforms to IGT. Coincidentally (or not), IGT and FanDuel expanded their partnership earlier this month.

US sportsbooks outside of Nevada

Nevada was the only (legal) show in town for sports bettors until PASPA was repealed in 2018. A slew of new sportsbooks started operations after states were given the green light to legalize sports wagering.

FanDuel is just one of the many options available outside Nevada, but not inside the Silver State.

Sports bettors looking for new options in the future should keep an eye on the following US sportsbook operators that operate outside of Nevada:

  • FanDuel
  • DraftKings
  • PointsBet
  • SugarHouse/BetRivers
  • 888
  • Bet 365
  • Bet America
  • Score
  • Intralot
  • Unibet
  • USBookmaking

This is just the tip of the iceberg for legal US sportsbook operators. More are expected to begin operation outside of Nevada before the year is over.

For example, Penn National Gaming (M Resort and Tropicana) is expected to launch its Barstool Sportsbook in Pennsylvania this September.

The more sportsbook operators that eventually become available in Nevada, the better it is for the consumer. New sportsbook operators should bring more betting options and mobile apps for Nevada sports bettors.

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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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