Golf betting in Las Vegas
Five years ago Las Vegas had thirty golf courses; the Las Vegas Valley now boasts over seventy. But the popularity of golf can be more accurately gauged by the amount wagered on the links in the Las Vegas sports books. Bettors who not long ago didn’t know a Mulligan from a Nassau are now clamoring for the books to put on the Golf Channel.
“ABC’s and ESPN’s golf coverage is excellent,” says Caesars Palace Sports Book Director Rich Baccellieri. “And each week there is a different tournament to bet.”
Ceasars, which began booking golf in 1997, now puts up eight to ten head-to-head props on the board on a weekly basis, and puts fifty golfers in the futures for each tournament. Baccellieri attributed Ceasars success with golf match-ups to Adam Pullen. An ad-man for four years at Ceasars, Adam helps create the golf odds, which sometimes includes lessor known golfers who are playing well on the tour.
“Tourneys are perfect for wagering,” says Adam, “and they are great events to book.”
One Las Vegas golf bettor who has been playing the links and handicapping golf for ten years, describes betting golf as “fabulous”.
“All courses are different,” he said. “And knowing the form of each golfer is important; some courses are made for a golfer’s particular style.”
He says that the Imperial Palace is the best at making numbers. “They [supervisors] all play golf and also participate in fantasy leagues.”
Jeff Sherman has been booking golf as a supervisor at the Imperial Palace Sports Book for six years. “Since Tiger Woods came along, golf action and interest has increased,” said Jeff. “Our write [amount bet on event, or handle] for this year’s Masters Tournament is twice that of last years’.
“We all have fun with it and enjoy putting up match-ups and proposition bets.
“Golf,” Jeff added, “is now accepted as a major betting sport.”
It might be awhile before a Tiger Woods/David Duval head-to-head prop approaches the same betting interest that a Super Bowl or NCAA Final Four creates, but just in case I’m getting out my tape of the movie ‘Caddyshack’ – it might be a great handicapping tool!
thedailyspread.com | April 30th, 1999