The Vegas sportsbooks have reported that many lifelong Cubs fans opted not to cash out their bet slips but instead keep them as mementos.
Now with the 180-day deadline to cash in past, some 30 percent of those who wagered on the Chicago Cubs to win the 2016 World Series chose not to claim their winnings. That has resulted in a big windfall for the Vegas casinos.
Approximately 40,000 bets were placed on the Cubs to win the World Series. Typically the ball club attracts double the amount of the second most wagered on team to win the World Series each year.
Betting on the Cubs has been a Las Vegas tradition that casinos have enjoyed for decades. In fact, there was a running joke among bookmakers about the number of hotels that were paid for by bets on the Cubs to win the World Series. Things didn't change last year -- other than that the Cubs finally won the whole thing.
"When we saw the number, we were just all extremely surprised at how big it was," Jason Simbal, vice president of risk management for CG Technology, said. "We went back and had to check like three times to make sure there was no mistake."
At the Golden Nugget in downtown Las Vegas, around 20 percent of Cubs tickets were uncashed. These included a pair of $600 bets at 5-1 that would pay $3,600 each.
- Dan Shapiro, Gambling911.com