Legendary Las Vegas sportsbook director Johnny Avello is right at home with DraftKings. Avello, who was the sportsbook director at Wynn Casino for 13 years, joined up with DraftKings Sportsbook late last year and is now part of the brain trust bringing innovation to the sports betting world.
DraftKings Sportsbook co-founders Jason Robins and Matt Kalish have told MetroBet multiple times over the past few months that DK is focused on changing the betting game through innovation. That strategy is certainly working so far in New Jersey as DK’s sportsbook app has been the most successful legal online sports betting venture – monetarily – since betting was legalized in the state last summer.
A lot of this innovation includes giving prospective sports bettors options to bet on events that they might not have even known you can bet on. This includes Sunday’s Oscars. (You can get a free $20 to bet on the Oscars right now at Metro.us/Oscars20.)
“I’ve been in the industry for 40 years and I’ve been offering Oscars odds for 25 years,” Avello told MetroBet in an exclusive interview. “But we’ve never gotten a chance to take actual wagers on it. For the first time the gaming board has given us permission to do so and I’m really excited about that. It’s great to tie-in the entertainment aspect.”
Avello anticipates a lot of late bets coming in on the Oscars this Sunday, much like a Sunday night NFL game.
“As we get closer to the event we might see a flurry,” Avello told MetroBet. “A lot of events are that way. Even the Super Bowl we’ll put up the line a couple weeks ahead of time but you won’t see the bigger bets until Sunday.”
DraftKings Sportsbook will be taking wagers on 16 Academy Awards categories this Sunday.
“The major six categories are where the concentration will be and there’s some strong favorites,” Avello said. “Though there’s odds on some categories that most people won’t be interested in like sound editing, make-up and hair styling. Best foreign picture is a slam dunk. For best picture we could see an upset there.”
Avello anticipates that DraftKings Sportsbook will take wagers on many non-sporting events moving forward.
“We’ll look at it all – Emmy’s, Tony’s, we can look at American Idol or Dancing with the Stars,” Avello said. “You’ve got to be careful with shows like The Bachelor though. Shows like that were filmed and were over months ago.”
You can get a free $20 bet on the Oscars right now by going to Metro.us/Oscars20