The Vegas Golden Knights’ Stanley Cup championship was a defining sports moment for Sin City. From a business standpoint, however, it wasn’t kind for Nevada-based sportsbooks.
According to the Nevada Gaming Control Board (via Chuck Schilken of the Los Angeles Times), sportsbooks in Nevada lost $6.6 million in hockey bets for the month of June alone:
“The only NHL action taking place that month was the Stanley Cup Final between the Golden Knights and Florida Panthers, starting with Game 1 on June 3. Folks in Nevada bet $323 million on hockey in June, and the majority of them were putting their money behind the local team.”
Vegas soundly defeated the underdog Florida Panthers in five games to claim the franchise’s first Stanley Cup, in just their sixth season of existence.
The Golden Knights were among the primary contenders heading into the 2022-23 regular season and postseason. But the Boston Bruins were the overwhelming favorites to win it at the start of the postseason after finishing with 65 wins and 135 points, both single-season records.
Boston, however, blew a 3-1 series lead to the eighth-seeded Panthers and lost a heartbreaker in overtime of Game 7 by a score of 4-3. The field was wide open after Boston’s elimination, but it was the Bruce Cassidy-led Knights who seized the moment and won their first championship.
It was also one of the most dominant postseason runs by a team in recent memory. Vegas lost just six total games in the playoffs, never requiring a Game 7 during their run. After making easy work of the Winnipeg Jets in round one, they narrowly got past Connor McDavid’s Edmonton Oilers in the second round.
Vegas then defeated a dangerous Dallas Stars team in six games to win the Western Conference en route to an easy series win over Florida in the 2023 Stanley Cup Final.
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