What Happens in Vegas Doesn’t Stay in Vegas

The Super Bowl LVIII logo is projected onto Caesars Palace Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, on February 9, 2024. (Photo by Jeff Speer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Welcome to the latest installment of Wanderland

Yes, it’s April 1. No, I don’t do that. 

Students Hit the Books—and the Bookies, Too

Las Vegas had a heck of a time landing an NFL franchise. For years, would-be investors tried to bring a team to the tourism mecca, where those efficient opportunities known in corporate-weasel speak as “synergies” abound. The powers that be in Sin City have long understood that the world is full of disposable-income-having people who are not gambling enthusiasts but who might enjoy a long weekend basking in the desert sun by the pool at an expensive resort, ordering a few overpriced bottles of wine at a couple of fancy restaurants, and maybe doing some high-end shopping. Nevada investors and economic-development types have spent decades thinking up new ways to bring in moneyed visitors who don’t want to smoke Winstons and drink discount Crown ’n’ Cokes in front of a video slot machine for 10 hours at a stretch. Vegas has had good luck with big-time boxing matches over the years, but the NFL really, really didn’t want to do business in Vegas. In 2003, when 30-second Super Bowl ads were going for $2.2 million and up, the league told the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority that its money was no good and declined to sell the tourism bureau advertisements during the big game. A naïve journalist who suggested that the “Aces” would be a great name for a Las Vegas NFL team was mercilessly hooted at for his innocence.  

Now, the Raiders are in Las Vegas. So was the 2024 Super Bowl. And the NFL has signed a $30 million deal with Caesars Entertainment that made the Vegas landmark the league’s official casino partner. There are NFL partnerships with DraftKings and FanDuel, too, along with in-game advertisements from sports-betting firms such as BetMGM, WynnBet, PointsBet, and Fox Bet. Tickets to NFL games at Allegiant Stadium are now part of Vegas package deals in case the Adele residency at Caesars doesn’t appeal or Cedric the Entertainer isn’t your thing. All good and fun. 

Except for the fact that, as countless urologists have awkwardly explained to their patients over the decades, the old advertising slogan is a lie: What happens in Vegas doesn’t stay in Vegas. 

Have you been on an American college campus lately? 

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