Once a long shot of up to 500 to 1 to win the Stanley Cup, the Vegas Golden Knights now are just four wins away.
That has Las Vegas buzzing with excitement — in a good and bad way.
The local fans are thrilled their expansion franchise has made it to the doorstep of a championship in its first season of existence. But the city’s sports books are worried about having to pay out huge sums to bettors who took advantage of those long odds.
After wrapping up the Western Conference title on Sunday, the Golden Knights will play either the Tampa Bay Lightning or the Washington Capitals in the Stanley Cup final.
Four more wins and the payouts could be substantial.
The Westgate Superbook could be on the hook for up to $120,000 for a $400 ticket it sold at 300 to 1, spokesman Jay Kornegay tells USA TODAY Sports.
He says Westgate accepted 13 tickets on the Golden Knights at 500 to 1 odds, with wagers ranging from $5 to $60.
A number of bettors may have only purchased a Golden Knights ticket to win the Cup as a souvenir, not expecting the scenario could come true in the team’s inaugural season.
Oddsmaker Jim Murphy of sportsbettingexperts.com told Forbes.com it could end up being “the biggest futures loss in Las Vegas history.”
However, he also says a win for the home team could turn out to be a win for sports books as well.
“A seven-figure loss for a big sportsbook sounds a lot worse than it really is. They’d take a similar hit on a bad NFL weekend,” Murphy said. “… Even with a Knights’ Stanley Cup win I’d be willing to wager that Nevada books finish the month in the black once again. Sportsbooks generally love stories like this due to the publicity they can get.”