Friday, Aug. 22, 1997 | 9:48 a.m.
CARSON CITY -- A betting system to attract sports junkies has been approved by the Nevada Gaming Commission and eight casinos have already signed up.
Players will be able to bet on such things as whether the next batter flies out or grounds out, which team in basketball will score the next 3-point play and who will make the initial first down in football.
Called Sportxaction, the game has been on test at the Luxor and Excalibur hotel-casinos in Las Vegas. And the backers say it will generate more betting while the player watches the game on a television set.
"It's not a big bettor's game," says Tom Yarlow, who will operate the central system out of Tom's Sunset Casino in Henderson. There will be a $30 betting limit initially. "You would have to work hard to lose $500 in one game."
The average bet initially is expected to be $5.50 and the minimum wager will probably range from $1.25 to $9.75, depending on the odds.
A player will be able put in a maximum of $2,500 a day. He or she will be given a personal identification number. The bettor will then go to a computer in any of the eight casinos, use the computer to tune into the game he or she wants to see and then make the various wagers allowed on the screen.
The odds will be moved as the money flows in on each bet. It will be like a pari-mutuel pool that doesn't have fixed odds.
As an example, a player would bet $6.25 to win $10 back on the next batter in baseball grounding out. Or he would place $4.75 to get a $10 return on a fly-out. If the batter struck out or if a base runner was picked off, the bet would be cancelled and applied to the next batter.
Except at Super Bowl time, most bettors are now restricted to wagering on the two teams, the point spread or the total points. This would open the whole system of betting.
The system would allow the player to cancel his bet if his team is losing. But he would only get a portion of the money returned from the initial wager.
The Gaming Commission said patrons will be limited to depositing $2,500 a day and account balances must not exceed $3,000.
On the face of the computer, the player will be able to press buttons to find out how much he has left in his account; how much is outstanding in bets and how much he could win if all his wagers paid off.
The commission suggested that the rules of the game be clearly posted so there would be a minimum of player disputes.