For one Las Vegas casino, the Golden State Warriors have already defeated the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference finals.
That’s because the Golden Nugget is owned by Rockets owner Tilman Fertitta, who bought the team for $2.2 billion in September. The casino ceased all future bets on the Rockets to avoid any conflict-of-interest issues, according to ESPN.com, a normal procedure for sportsbooks.
Now that the Rockets are no longer available to bet on, the Warriors have the top odds at finishing the best in the West. The series between the Rockets and Warriors begins Monday night.
"We've already graded (the Warriors) a winner," Golden Nugget sportsbook manager Aaron Kessler told ESPN. "Bring your ticket and you'll get paid."
The Golden Nugget did not take on Rockets bets this season, and thus will not take them for the West finals.
"It's crazy," sports book director Tony Miller said on a Friday morning appearance on the Vegas Stats & Information Network. "Two great teams in the Western Conference finals, and we're doing more explaining (about why) every day than anything else."
The same situation would play out if the Rockets advance to the NBA Finals — the Cleveland Cavaliers or Boston Celtics would be winners -- at least at the Golden Nugget.