- The Nevada Gaming Control Board has approved betting on the WNBA Draft
- Four sportsbooks in Nevada are still operating their mobile apps despite the Coronavirus pandemic casino shutdown.
- Sportsbooks have become creative in the search for betting props with most major sports leagues on hiatus
These are very strange times in the sports betting world–maybe more so than the world at large. The bookmaking industry is dealing with an unprecedented situation that no one really ever anticipated. The overwhelming majority of the sport leagues around the world are shut down. This includes the biggest of the big like the NBA and English Premier League as well as lower profile competitions. So what does a sportsbook do when there aren’t any sports to bet on?
The answer is to get *very* creative. This is where offshore sportsbooks have the edge over Nevada based properties since they don’t have any limits to the wagers they can put on the board except their own imagination. Looking around the betting boards of several offshore books we find prop bets on the ESPN Michael Jordan documentary The Last Dance, wagers on the insanely popular reality series Tiger King and virtual sports simulations. They’ve previously booked eNASCAR virtual racing and marble racing.
NEVADA SPORTSBOOKS HAVE TO WORK WITHIN STATE REGULATORY GUIDELINES
Nevada sportsbooks can’t go so far afield. The Nevada Gaming Control Board at one point stipulated that sports bets could only be made on events that happen on the field of play. This meant no betting on MVP Awards, the NBA Draft, etc. These requirements were relaxed a bit several years ago to the point that the aforementioned ancillary events could go up on the board. It wasn’t until 2017 that Nevada books could take action on the NFL Draft.
Currently, there are only four sportsbooks operating in the Silver State all via their mobile apps: William Hill, Circa Sports, Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts. To their credit, the NGC has done a good job fast tracking requests for new events to be added to the board which is how Russian table tennis became a popular betting sport. They’ve approved several Esports competitions (in addition to the eNASCAR Virtual Racing) such as the Call of Duty League and are showing more flexibility than at any point in the past.
Most recently, they’ve approved betting on an event that I never thought I’d see on the board at a Nevada sportsbook: the WNBA Draft. The draft begins at 4 PM Pacific Friday afternoon and books have the option of posting wagers on the event. As of Thursday evening, none of the four operating sportsbooks had WNBA Draft props posted.
There’s plenty of prop wagers on the board in Nevada and offshore for the forthcoming NFL Draft. Even though it’ll be held ‘virtually’ it will likely be the biggest sports betting event since the Coronavirus shutdowns began. The WNBA Draft is definitely an afterthought but the fact that the NGC approved it–and did so expeditiously–is a good thing.