Las Vegas sportsbooks are making their own Super Bowl contingency plans.
The NFL told the Denver Post that the Super Bowl could be played Friday, Saturday or Monday, instead of Sunday, if severe weather threatens East Rutherford, N.J. and MetLife Stadium.
Some sportsbooks, like the Wynn, require that games must be played on their original scheduled date and in the scheduled venue for bets to be considered action. But the Super Bowl is special.
“It says on our sheets that all (Super Bowl) bets are action regardless of when the game is played,” Wynn executive director John Avello said. “In order for them to move it, I think it would have to be a hellacious storm. But if they do, you’d have action with me.”
The Las Vegas Hotel & Casino SuperBook’s house rules state that a football game must be played within eight days of the scheduled date. But the SuperBook added a stipulation this week that all bets are action as long as the Super Bowl is played by Feb. 24, according to assistant manager Jeff Sherman.
“We’re not doing all of this again,” said Sherman, who has spent the week handicapping hundreds of Super Bowl proposition bets.
At William Hill, football games must be played at the venue and within five days before or after the date scheduled for bets to be considered action. Media director Ryan Greene said that the book was sticking with that rule for the Super Bowl.
In 2003, the NFL moved a Monday night game between the Miami Dolphins and San Diego Chargers because of wildfires in the San Diego area. The game was played in Tempe, Ariz., forcing some books to refund all wagers that had been placed on the game before it was relocated.
“We had to refund the money,” said Avello, “and then they had to re-bet it. We do not want to do that for the Super Bowl.”
A record $98.9 million was bet on the Super Bowl last year at Nevada sportsbooks. Moving the game from Sunday could take its toll on the Super Bowl handle. LVH director Jay Kornegay estimates 70 percent of all money bet on the Super Bowl is placed on the Friday and Saturday leading up to Super Bowl Sunday, in addition to what’s placed on game-day itself.
Some offshore books also were taking precautions to avoid any controversy should the game be moved. Bovada.lv added the following note to its site Thursday: “All Super Bowl XLVIII bets will have action regardless of any date or venue change.”
A similar message popped up when bettors logged into offshore book Bookmaker.eu.
Be advised – rules vary from book to book.