Vegas could soon bet on the presidency - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Vegas could soon bet on the presidency


Nevada could one day bet on much more than basketball, baseball and football. One state lawmaker wants bettors to place wagers on federal elections.

Las Vegas Democrat Tick Segerblom introduced Senate Bill 418 on Monday. It would allow sports books to take wagers on who will win the presidency and seats in Congress.

"We're in a competitive environment. We're basically competing against the world, and I think we need to start looking beyond what we've done," Segerblom said.

Segerblom said he's getting positive feedback and said other countries are already betting on our elections.

"They bet on our elections in England. They spend millions of dollars on the presidential elections, and it occurred to me, why don't we have that here?" Segerblom asked.

Director of UNLV's Center for Gaming Research David G. Schwartz said this wouldn't be a huge moneymaker for the sports books.

"If you look at last year, there's about $170 million the sports books won, only $10 million was from everything besides baseball, basketball and football," Schwartz said.

But he said it's a novelty that would pay off.

"It's something people would only be able to do in Nevada for now, which is really something the state needs," Schwartz added.

In 2011, the Nevada Gaming Commission loosened regulations on non-sports betting. Casinos can post novelty bets if they can prove no one would know the outcome ahead of time.

Right now, the commission prohibits betting on any elections.

This is all preliminary. There will be a hearing sometime during the next few weeks. If approved, it would have to pass the Nevada Senate and Assembly before being signed into law by Gov. Brian Sandoval.

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