Game 5 bets on Phillies pay off in Vegas sports books

Updated: October 29, 2008, 7:25 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

What happens in Philly pays in Vegas.

In reality, the Tampa Bay Rays and Philadelphia Phillies are tied 2-2 after rain halted Game 5 of the World Series after 5½ innings.

But in the world of Las Vegas sports books, the Phillies won 2-1 -- and side bets on the Phillies have to be paid out.

Confused? There's a simple explanation.

According to Nevada Gaming Commission rules, the final score of an official baseball game, for betting purposes, is determined by reverting to the last completed inning, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported. And the Phillies led Game 5, 2-1, after five completed innings.

Wagers on totals and run-line bets are being refunded because gaming rules stipulate that at least 8½ innings must be played for those bets to pay off, according to the report.

"We're just following the regular baseball rules. This is a very common rule," Las Vegas Hilton sports book director Jay Kornegay said, according to the report. "We can't make exceptions.

"There was no special disclaimer for World Series games, or any playoff games for that matter, that your bet would continue if the game was suspended," Kornegay said, according to the report. "It's one of those unfortunate, misunderstood rules of baseball betting."

Jeff Sherman, assistant manager of the Hilton sports book, told Bloomberg News Services that several regular-season baseball games were affected by the same rule. But none was as high-profile as the World Series game.

"It hasn't had as much notoriety as it's getting now because it's a rare instance," he told Bloomberg. "When we had this during the regular season, we get people who say, 'Oh, I didn't know that.' Now it's just on a lot larger scale."

How about double or nothing?

"I'm sure there are disgruntled bettors because people see it as a 2-2 game and they're stuck with a losing ticket,'' John Harper, senior oddsmaker at Las Vegas Sports Consultants, said in an interview with Bloomberg. "It's a break for someone who had a Philly ticket.''

Kornegay said the Hilton would post a prop bet Wednesday on the conclusion of Game 5, the Review-Journal reported. He said the Phillies, who have an advantage because they still get to bat in the bottom of the sixth, will be money-line favorites and the wagers will be paid "whenever the game is finished."

According to morning lines in Las Vegas, Philadelphia is listed at -160 and Tampa Bay at +150. If the Rays win, a $1 bet will pay out $1.50; to win on the Phillies, a $1.60 bet wins $1.

Despite the Nevada gaming rules, some sports books, such as MGM/Mirage Properties, did not consider the Phillies the winner on Monday night and will wait until Game 5 is concluded to pay winners.