Overshadowed by all the news coverage about its turbulent transition under new owner Elon Musk is Twitter’s importance in providing critical betting information to sportsbook operators.
“In today’s world, almost all our information comes from Twitter,” said Jay Kornegay, executive vice president of SuperBook Sports Operations at the Westgate Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.
“Our bookmakers have Twitter decks which are formatted to specific sports.”
Among other things, Twitter decks enable users to manage multiple Twitter accounts and schedule tweets for posting in the future.
If an illegal offshore website or sharp sports bettor gets a scoop, the news is likely to show up on Twitter, according to Kornegay.
“We’ll observe how the market moves and we can make adjustments quickly or even take the game off the board,” he said.
“Transparency is a bookmaker’s best friend. When everyone knows, it’s for the best.”
Sportsbooks also develop “a feel” for handicapping games, Kornegay said, by closely monitoring wagers from experienced and knowledgeable bettors.
“When we receive a bet from one of those players, we tend to move it aggressively,” he said.
Injuries to athletes are arguably the most significant information for bettors preparing to wager on games.
The National Football League (NFL), whose gambling ties date almost from the league’s beginning in 1920, discloses meticulous injury reports before games.
But college football, which has been slower to embrace gambling, is not as forthcoming about injuries.
For example, University of Utah star quarterback Cameron Rising did not play on October 27 against Washington State after telling his coaches just 30 minutes before kickoff that he did not feel physically ready.
Many bettors assumed Rising would play, and Utah Coach Kyle Whittingham will not discuss injuries unless they are season-ending.
“As soon as all these leagues (including the National Collegiate Athletic Association) start to take sportsbook money — and it is coming — then this kind of nonsense will not be tolerated,” Bud Elliott, a sports betting commentator, said on the Cover3 Podcast after the game, which Utah won, 21-17.
“You can’t hide a quarterback injury in the NFL, and you will not be able to do it in college once (sportsbook money) starts. But for right now, it’s the Wild, Wild West and Utah is like a fortress as far as getting information out of there.”
Kornegay said he would support regulations requiring colleges to be as transparent as the NFL in injury reports.
Coincidentally, Utah will play Friday (December 2) at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas for the Pac12 Championship against the University of Southern California.
“Since both schools are in states without legalized sports betting, this game will get a little more lift (in bets) than others,” Kornegay said. “We expect Utah fans to represent 75 percent of the fans in Allegiant (Stadium) for this game."