‘Gamble On’ 208 Highlights: California, Texas, Florida, And The Spigot Of Tax Revenue

Podcast features NFL kickoff, the value of Twitter, and SuperBook’s Jay Kornegay
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Over the course of more than four years and 200 episodes, Gamble On has established itself as the leading gaming industry podcast, delivering news and analysis as well as interviews with the most influential names in gambling every week.

Episode 208, posted Sept. 8, 2022, features an interview with SuperBook Sports Executive Vice President of Race and Sportsbook Operations Jay Kornegay, who enters this NFL season as the name and face attached to US Bets’ “Ask a Bookmaker” column. Just prior to the Buffalo Bills’ Thursday night trouncing of the defending champion L.A. Rams, Kornegay addressed the popularity of Josh Allen and company with bettors this offseason.

“The ticket leader [at SuperBook] … are the Bills,” the highly respected bookmaker said. “They are … the leader in ticket count. We have some liability attached to them. But the story this year, especially in Nevada … the Raiders are right up there with the Bills, the Bucs, the Chiefs in terms of ticket count. It’s amazing how many people are supporting the Raiders heading into this year.”

Listen to “208: AGA NFL betting projections, Twitter and gambling, NFL and SuperContest with Jay Kornegay” on Spreaker.

Kornegay’s money quotes

Kornegay found himself in some industry headlines back in March after several customers placed big futures bets on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers just prior to Tom Brady announcing his un-retirement, and he clarified his position on Gamble On. “I never said I wanted to void the tickets, or I was crying foul. I just said, somebody knew something,” Kornegay said. Then he got to the heart of the matter: “Yeah, we’re rooting against the Buccaneers! We don’t want the Buccaneers!”

Kornegay on the SuperBook deciding to spread out the prize money more than ever in this season’s handicapping SuperContest rather than build toward a massive first-place prize: “Just talking to a lot of contestants, a lot of our patrons, not only in Nevada but in other jurisdictions, about what they liked and what they didn’t like … we came up with more in-season prizes. … This year we have 11 in-season prizes along with the overall champion. So, in those in-season prizes, we have two nine-week contests, we have three six-week contests, and six three-week contests. … If you have a hot three weeks, you can get in there.”

Kornegay on how live the amateurs are drawing in the SuperContest, in a field bustling with professionals: “Anybody can win it. You get a lot of average Joes up there that have been the champion, especially in recent years. … I still think it’s a game of skill here. [But] everybody needs a little luck.”

Gamble rambles

  • Podcast hosts Eric Raskin and John Brennan analyzed the American Gaming Association’s annual release of NFL wagering projections, which included declining numbers in terms of people using unlicensed bookmakers. Raskin asked Brennan if he thinks old-school bookies will soon become an endangered species. “It’s a simple fact that many hardcore gamblers will never leave their corner bookie, like we had in my old neighborhood, for two reasons,” Brennan responded. “One is you can bet on credit, and by that I mean you don’t even need a credit card. The bookie knows where you live, literally. The other is that when that 10-team parlay finally comes in, finally, after many years, and the profit is thousands of dollars, nobody’s letting the IRS tax man know. I would say bookies are about as endangered as phony online betting touts — which is to say, not so much.”
  • What are the handle numbers going to look like in New York, as the state embarks on its first full football season? Raskin predicted the Empire State will see a $2 billion handle month, most likely in October (which has five weekends). Added Brennan: “I can’t picture a projection from New York at this point that would make me shake my head. I mean, no number. And legal sports betting supporters in the statehouses in California, Florida, and Texas have to be gritting their teeth when they see these numbers. Each state has a spigot of massive tax revenue, but these guys can’t get the damn pipes to work, so nothing pours out — yet.”
  • While some folks in the Twitter-verse are focused on whether the social media site will grant its users access to an edit function, Gamble On is more interested in a new survey conducted by Twitter that confirmed the massive overlap between sports gambling and Twitter. So do you need to be on Twitter to be a sports gambler? “It all depends how serious you are about sports betting,” Raskin said. “If you’re very casual, and don’t care too much whether you finish ahead or behind, you just like having some bets down as you watch the games, then maybe you don’t need to be on Twitter. But I don’t see how you can be serious about sports betting — and especially DFS, where the last-second, just-before-lineup-lock injury news coming on Twitter is critical — I don’t see how you can be serious and not have a Twitter account.”
  • The “Fast Five” returned this week for its fifth season, with the two hosts singling out their five favorite NFL games to bet against the spread, SuperContest-style. As this article publishes Friday morning, Brennan already has a half-game lead on Raskin in his pursuit of a fourth straight victory.
  • With football season comes fantasy football season, and Raskin didn’t mince words about the cardinal rule of playing fantasy: “Remember, fantasy players in all sports: You are the only person who cares who’s on your fantasy team. And even if someone asks you who’s on your fantasy team, answer quickly, because they were probably just being polite. They don’t actually want to know.”
  • Closing thoughts: Brennan wrapped up the podcast with a stunning admission: “My name is John, and I have never played fantasy football.”

Photo: Shutterstock

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