Betting on the NFL Draft is gaining popularity in Las Vegas

NFL Draft expects to rake in huge wagers.
NFL Draft expects to rake in huge wagers.
Published: Apr. 27, 2022 at 11:05 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - Placing bets on the NFL Draft has only been legal in Nevada since 2017. Industry experts predict the 2022 draft held in Las Vegas will bring a record number of bets placed on the event.

“It’s not something that’s settled on the field, so Nevada regulators have been a bit apprehensive to allow for things such as that and extending to things like the Academy Awards or the Emmy’s,” head of content for Patrick Everson said.

Bets on when players will be picked in the NFL draft is far from reaching the popularity of events like the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament or the Super Bowl, but some industry experts say it gives an advantage to the bettor, because of all the information available.

“Many times it’s decided in the rumor mill, in mock drafts and on Twitter. There’s just a lot of information out there and I think there’s a huge advantage to the bettors,” Station Casinos director of race and sports Chuck Esposito said.

However, there are more restrictions to betting on the draft. In Las Vegas, most bets had to be placed 24 hours before the first overall selection, Thursday, April 28.

Everson said he thinks the regulations may change in the future, to keep up with the evolving industry.

“Hopefully what the draft being here illustrates is the need to perhaps readdress when Nevada books have to shut down the NFL Draft. When they see all the people coming to the counter saying, ‘hey can I bet on the Saints to take Malik Willis?’ and they have to say no.”

Everson believes having the draft in Las Vegas, while welcoming wagers, is another step towards destigmatizing sports betting.

“Generally speaking [for] 90% of people that bet on sports it’s seen as a form of entertainment, the same way as a concert or a show,” Everson said.

Station Casinos said some prop bets, like how many trades in the first round, will stay open until draft day.

“The draft being in Las Vegas makes people remember sports betting has expanded across the nation, but Vegas is still the gold standard and basically the king of the castle when it comes to sports betting,” Everson said.

The odds favorite as the first overall pick in the draft is Georgia Defensive End Travon Walker.