Super Bowl biggest day of year for North Tahoe sports books
February 3, 2016
CRYSTAL BAY, Nev. — Eight hundred and thirty-four.
That's how many different ways you can bet on the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos before Super Bowl 50 kicks off.
Four point two billion.
That's how much money in dollars — according to the American Gaming Association — is expected to be wagered on the Super Bowl, which will be held Sunday at 3:30 p.m. at Levi's Stadium in the San Francisco Bay Area.
That's how many days of the year are bigger than Super Bowl Sunday for sports books at North Lake Tahoe's casinos.
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"It's the biggest day of the year," said Tyler Gaffaney, director of operations at the Tahoe Biltmore Casino in Crystal Bay. "Just because it's the Super Bowl and it's one of the biggest games of the year, those who normally don't do sports betting, that's usually when they try it out."
PROP IT LIKE IT'S HOT
Specifically, the prop bets, Gaffaney said, are what make Super Bowl Sunday the biggest sports betting day of the year.
Will the coin toss land on heads or tails? Which team will score first? Will the Panthers score more than 13 first-half points? Will "Left Shark" make a halftime appearance? (Note: one of those is made up.)
Quite simply, the list of William Hill's prop bets — most involve player yardage, scoring margins, and touchdowns — practically stretches the length of a football field.
"It's amazing all the little things you can bet on," said Carley Balint, marketing assistant at the Crystal Bay Casino. "I think it's the whole fanfare behind it. You don't have only the game, the commercials, the halftime show — there's a little bit of everything for everyone to watch.
"That alone keeps you in the game and helps you root for whatever you bet on."
As of Wednesday, William Hill had the Panthers as 6-point favorites over the Broncos — a 2.5-point jump from last week's opening line.
The lion's share of the money is being laid on the favored Panthers, as William Hill is holding approximately 90 percent Carolina money. Thus far, the single largest bet is a cool $623,142.25 at a William Hill location in Las Vegas, according to ESPN.
The over/under bet as of Wednesday, meanwhile, stood at a point total of 45, according to William Hill, which runs the sports books at the Biltmore, Crystal Bay Casino and the Grand Lodge Casino at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe in Incline Village.
North Shore casino parties
Whether or not betting is your game, North Tahoe's casinos are unique and fun venues for Super Bowl watching.
The Tahoe Biltmore is holding a free Super Bowl 50 party in its Nevada Room, a 6,400-square foot ballroom located upstairs.
Tailgate-style food and drink specials will be served all game long, including $3 Coronas and $3 shots of Jagermeister.
The game itself will be shown on a giant projector screen as well as a dozen HD flat screen TVs.
"I try to incorporate everything you've ever seen at a sports bar," said Gaffaney of the party, adding that there will be high bar tables, stadium-style seating and multiple couches "so it feels like you're in your own living room."
The first 100 people get a square on a prize board. Free prizes will also be handed out during the game. Doors open at 2 p.m.
"It's usually a ton of fun," Gaffaney said. "I've had one group of guests that come from San Francisco every year and they stand in line waiting for the doors to open so they can have the first choice of open seats."
Meanwhile, the Crystal Bay Casino will hold a free party in its famed Crown Room, hosted by MC Karey Todd.
Food and drink specials include $1 hot dogs and $2 Italian sausages as well as $1.50 cans of Bud Light and Coors Light.
Swag, spins of the wheel and prize board squares are designated for the first 100 players club members to sign up. The wheel of prizes includes concert tickets, cash ($100, $50 and $25), and gift certificates, to name a few.
The game will be shown on the Crown Room's 20-foot HD screen and throughout the casino. Doors open at 2 p.m.