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Beware the Local Bettor: Lessons From Vegas's Hockey Knightmare

  • Casinos understimated the appeal of the new hometown team
  • ‘I’m afraid to look’ at the losses, William Hill director says

Nevada’s casinos have taken a bath all year on the state’s new professional hockey franchise, and if the Vegas Golden Knights win the Stanley Cup, sports books will lose millions more.

Las Vegas’s oddsmakers have never been so exposed en masse. They expected locals to bet on the home team, but not as much as they did -- and anyway, the book makers thought it was a loser’s bet. Expansion teams aren’t supposed to be good; before the season, almost every expert picked the team to finish dead last. After a 3-2 loss to the Washington Capitals in the second game of the Stanley Cup finals Wednesday night, Vegas is just three wins from the title.