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- With the rise in interest of prop bets among gamblers, it’s become easier than ever for one bad play to swing millions in Las Vegas.
- In a recent interview with Business Insider, Jay Kornegay of the Westgate SuperBook spoke about the worst beat the sportsbook ever took on a prop bet – the safety that opened scoring in Super Bowl XLVIII between the Broncos and Seahawks.
- Kornegay said the score was a “healthy six figure” loss at the Westgate SuperBook alone.
Super Bowl Sunday is always the biggest gambling day of the year, but it can also be one of the strangest. With prop bets on almost every possible game outcome available to bettors, one weird play can swing millions in a moment.
Business Insider recently spoke with Jay Kornegay, VP of Race and Sports Operations at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, about the rise of interest in proposition bets and how it has affected bookmaking in Las Vegas. When asked if he could remember a specific prop that killed the bookmakers in Vegas, the safety that opened Super Bowl XLVIII jumped to mind.
That play was as bad as it got for Manning. Not only was it embarrassing, it also put the Broncos in an early hole and opened the floodgates for what turned out to be an ugly 43-8 loss, possibly the worst of Manning’s career. It was also bad for the sportsbooks.
“That was the worst one probably – when they snapped it over Manning’s head,” Kornegay said. “The safety to be the first score was like 50/1.”
But it wasn’t just the long odds on a safety to be the first score that cost the sportsbooks – the missed snap was also connected to a slew of other bets that were bad news for Las Vegas bookmakers.
“It also hit defensive score, Seattle to score first – it was so bad,” Kornegay said. “I got texts from my senior executives like, ‘Uhhh, that probably wasn’t good, huh?'”
It was not – according to Kornegay, that play alone cost them “a healthy six figures.”
Even with such a drastic decision coming so early in the game, in the long run the sportsbooks will come out on top. But with so much money being bet on so many different outcomes, it’s easy for one moment to prove quite costly.
You can read our entire interview with Kornegay here.