Skip to content
Subscriber Only
Opinion
Leonid Bershidsky

Las Vegas Bookmakers Pine for a Piece of the Election

Wagers on political races aren't allowed in the U.S., but Nevada's gaming industry sees a blockbuster.
Bigger than the Super Bowl.

Bigger than the Super Bowl.

Photographer: Ethan Miller/getty Images

Jimmy Vaccaro, the 71-year-old doyen of Las Vegas oddsmakers, says that in  the last week only five to 10 people have come to his counter at the South Point Casino's Sports Book lounge to ask him about the presidential election. "Used to be five to 10 people every two hours," Vaccaro says. "The interest is waning. We're worn out here."

Yet in Nevada, a state that has called every presidential race in the last 60 years (except in 1976, when it favored Gerald Ford over Jimmy Carter), the contest is too close to call.