Report: NFL gamblers outwitted sportbooks in 2012, caused "staggering" losses for casinos
These poor bookies will get about as much sympathy as Snooki complaining that Kim Kardashian is unfit to be a mother.
According to a report in today's Los Angeles Times, Las Vegas sportsbooks lost big money on the 2012 NFL regular season. Parlays were a particularly huge source of losses for the casinos, as $20 bets turned into $1,000 prizes to shrewd amateur bettors. Veteran bookie Jay Kornagey told the Times, "The regular player is sharper than the guy ten years ago, but we've never seen a streak like this before."
Way to go, regular player! I guess this makes up for that one time Jim Harbaugh failed to cover the spread by declining a safety.
In addition to their hefty losses on NFL regular season action, sportsbooks are also freaking out at the payout possibilities should the Seattle Seahawks or Indianapolis Colts win the Super Bowl this year. The Seahawks opened the season with 75-1 odds to win Super Bowl XLVII. The Colts opened the season at 200-1 odds. Both teams sit four wins away from delivering sportsbooks a bath of biblical proportions.
The real problem for bookies, though, was the phenomenon of the Packers, Broncos, and Patriots covering the spread as relentlessly as they did this season. Betting fans of those teams tend to take their team, no matter how outlandish the spread. This season, those teams managed to make their homers rich -- at the expense of the sportsbooks.
The worst of it came in Week 9 of the NFL season, when the underdog teams went 2-10 against the spread. (It could have been worse -- the Patriots had a bye that week). MGM Resorts, Las Vegas' largest bookmaker, had to summon emergency reserves of cash to pay out their losses.
This comes as delightful news to anyone who's had to summon emergency reserves of cash just to pay for their stay at an MGM Resort.