Scenes From Sin City: NFL kickoff has oddsmakers in their element


USA TODAY Sports

As chaotic as the NFL’s opening Sunday can be at Las Vegas sportsbooks, Jay Rood wouldn’t have it any other way. For the MGM-Mirage vice president of race and sports, nothing beats the full-on kickoff to the NFL season.

“This is what it’s all about,” Rood said from behind the counter at The Mirage, about an hour before the early games began today. “It’s all packed in here. Driving in, I heard Jay Kornegay talking on the radio, saying his place (the Superbook) was packed. I talked to a couple other guys, and all our other properties are filling up, too.”

Rood is completely in his element today, booking football, with not another care in the world.

“This is what I like to do,” he said. “I don’t have to go to any meetings, I don’t have to answer any emails, I don’t have to do any of that B.S. I just get to be a bookmaker.”

And he gets to do it with his brother, Richard Neff, in the house. Neff is visiting from Albuquerque, where he said the two grew up around horse racing. That helps explain Rood’s attraction to the sports betting world.

With hundreds of people flowing into The Mirage book, Neff took his place in one of the VIP areas and reveled in what his brother gets to do.

“It’s great to have my brother here,” he said. “I get to come out and enjoy the Las Vegas atmosphere and spend time with family. It’s kind of a two-for-one.”

Colin Kelly is a Las Vegas-based contributor for Covers. Follow him on Twitter: @ColinPKelly29.

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