The Las Vegas Aces will begin play next season in the WNBA, but you won’t be able to bet on them at MGM properties.
According to Vegas writer Marc Meltzer, MGM sportsbooks will not list Aces games at any of their Nevada properties. MGM Resorts International is the owner of the franchise, and the revelation is no surprise.
Here is the official statement that Meltz quoted:
MGM Resorts Race & Sports Books will offer wagering on all WNBA games with the exception of the Las Vegas team.
MGM and the Aces
The Aces franchise was initially known as the Utah Starzz, then the San Antonio Stars until a couple months ago.
MGM bought the team in October, moving it to Las Vegas and giving it a local nickname. Play opens at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in May 2018.
The deal is the culmination of a year of efforts between the league, MGM president Bill Hornbuckle, and Clark County officials. MGM plans to invest $10 million on a number improvements befitting a professional sports arena.
Mandalay Bay itself features a casino and a sportsbook, but you’ll have to head elsewhere to bet on the Aces.
Other betting restrictions
The Aces aren’t the only team that’s off the board in Las Vegas. There are a couple other conflicts of interest that preclude teams from being included in wagers.
Since 2016, Gary Loveman has been a partial owner of the Boston Celtics. Loveman is the former CEO of Caesars Entertainment and still sits on its board of directors. Once he purchased his ownership stake in the team, Caesars stopped taking bets on Celtics games at its 13 Nevada properties.
This year, Golden Nugget owner Tilman Fertitta purchased the Houston Rockets. When he did, the Nugget took Rockets games off the board at its books in Vegas and Laughlin.
Betting on other Las Vegas teams
The Aces will be the second professional sports franchise to call Las Vegas home, and a third is on the way.
The Las Vegas Golden Knights are the city’s NHL expansion team that began play this season. Both the team’s performance and the rabid fan support have put hockey in the national news cycle.
Sometime in the next few years, the NFL’s Oakland Raiders will move to Las Vegas, too. The sale is complete and stadium construction is under way, and the city appears to have an appetite for pro football.
Neither the Golden Knights nor the Raiders are owned by parties with casino interests, so betting on their games is permitted at books around Nevada. Knights games are already on the books at all Las Vegas properties. The same is expected of the Raiders when they come to town, no matter what Roger Goodell says publicly.
With mobile betting apps on the rise, you can even bet on your phone right from the stands.