Las Vegas Doubles Down on Sports, Live and Broadcast
When it comes to sports, Las Vegas is more than just a boxing town, thanks largely to the 2017 arrival of the Golden Knights, who went to the N.H.L. championship final in their inaugural season.
Now, as the N.F.L.’s Oakland Raiders team prepares to move to Vegas this year, professional sports — both live and broadcast — are ascendant tourist attractions.
“If you’re going to see an away game, what better place to do it than Las Vegas?” said Derek Stevens, who operates several downtown casinos and is building the new Circa Resort & Casino with a three-story, stadium-style sports book.
The arrival of professional hockey and football to Las Vegas dovetails with a surge in sports betting nationally that has inspired local casinos to redesign their betting areas, known as sports books, to energize the fan experience.
In 2018, the Supreme Court lifted a federal ban on sports betting known as the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (Nevada had been exempted from the 1992 law). Legal sports betting is now available in several states, including New York and New Jersey. In 2018, revenue from sports betting grew to $430 million from $261 million in 2017, according to the American Gaming Association.
“The ruling has opened sports betting up to more people,” said David G. Schwartz, a gaming historian at the University of Las Vegas. “People now come to sports books not as a place with weird numbers. They actually understand it.”