Tayla Polia: “I Had a Sports Betting Fling and Won Big”

Tayla was a novice when she won a large sum of money with a crazy parlay. She sat on the winning ticket for 2 days before realizing her bank account grew overnight!

This week, we sat down with Tayla to discuss the importance of taking risks and why she considers Las Vegas the original trailblazer in sports betting. According to Tayla, anyone can sports bet. What do you think about it?

About: Tayla Polia is a marketing and public relations executive in Las Vegas specializing in creating and
managing marketing and communication strategies. She helps businesses build great brands by
providing business consulting, content strategies, and advertising campaigns for companies of all sizes.
She strongly believes in always maintaining a positive mindset, creating partnerships with a purpose, and
to always stay learning. Besides watching and attending sporting events, her hobbies include cooking,
concerts, and hanging out at the dog park with her dog Thanos. She very proudly supports all Boston
sports teams.

When someone googles your name, the first thing that comes up is your incredible parlay story. Can you tell us what happened and why you placed that bet?

Tayla: I had just moved to Las Vegas and learned about sports betting about just weeks prior to this bet. I remember sitting on my couch in my living room and making my picks exactly 5 minutes before the Sunday football games kicked off.

I distinctly remember the one over/under selection on my parlay. I remember taking the over so confidently. I am a huge sports fan, so I had knowledge of players, stats, injuries, coaching, etc., I just did not have knowledge of betting lines at the time.

I remember making the bet and then enjoying the day of watching football, completely forgetting about the bet until Tuesday, when I noticed my ticket was still open. I actually called William Hill Sportsbook and asked why my ticket was open!

When the man on the phone told me I won, I said no and questioned it. He walked me through each game, going down the ticket line by line, until I realized he was telling me the truth.

Did that win change your relationship with sports betting? If so, how?

Tayla: Because I was so new to sports betting at the time, I didn’t have a “relationship” with it yet—more like a “fling” or an introduction.

I really was just interested in trying it for fun, and it was more like a game to me to see how well I could do. After my win, though, it made me realize the potential sports betting holds, not just from a financial perspective but in terms of research, discipline, and paying more attention to certain analytics and stats.

I watch sports completely differently now. It’s different watching as a bettor vs. watching as a fan, because now when I’m watching a game, I see all these different opportunities throughout the game.

If you could change one thing in the sports betting industry, what would it be?

Tayla: Oh, this is easy because it irks me! Considering Las Vegas’s deep history with sports betting, one change I would love, but I know will most likely never come, is having unique betting options in Nevada, such as early cash outs, for example.

If you look at FanDuel and other sportsbooks nationwide, they have various unique betting options and promotions offered everywhere except Nevada. Being the original trailblazer in sports betting, I think this city and state need to focus on modern changes and updates.

What people want right now in betting is options, and they are running to online books that give them those options. Nevada is famously reluctant to transition away from their ways, one of which is requiring in-person sign-ups. Nearly all the major sports betting states allow remote registration and sign-ups.

Nevada mobile betting is growing so fast, so I feel they need to keep up. I read an article from Howard Stutz from the Nevada Independent that said that in Nevada, mobile sports bets accounted for 65 percent, or almost $3.2 billion, of the state’s total sports wagers. Nationwide, betting on smartphone or computer has grown into the more preferred platform for sports betting, accounting for 80 percent of all bets.

Nevada is already beginning to fall behind, with just over 1% of US online gambling revenue. I would love to see Nevada change their ways and allow for more competition, as competition results in innovation, and I can see the other sportsbooks innovating in ways Nevada is not.

Do you see any trends forming in the sports betting industry?

Tayla: There are a few trends I’ve noticed in sports betting, and they sort of yield into one another. The first trend is AI and machine learning.

Bettors and operators both have access to more detailed analyses and predictions. With that, operators can offer more in-play or live betting, and I already see not only the popularity of live betting growing but also the pushing and promotion of it by the sportsbooks.

You can now watch a game in the Sportsbook mobile app and place a bet as you watch.

Live-betting is a whole other topic I can get into, and how streaming live games can affect your bets, but that’s a topic for another day. (I could talk about this stuff all day.)

What advice would you give to younger women who want to get into betting?

Tayla: My number one advice to younger women who want to get into sports betting would be to prioritize knowledge and research and trust yourself. Don’t let anyone tell you that this is a “man’s game” or discourage you from participating.

Anyone can sport bet. I’ve been in conversations in the past where a group of men were discussing something with the wrong facts or player names. Instead of correcting them, I second-guess myself because I am the only woman in the conversation. DO NOT do this.

I’ve since learned from these experiences and am fully confident when talking about sports or betting in a room full of men, but I know it’s not always easy to start off that way, especially if you are a newcomer to betting, but remember to trust yourself and that there is a whole community of women who have your back.

As far as learning betting lines and how to bet, a piece of advice I like to give is to watch a game live, while having the sportsbook open and watching the lines change live. This helped me learn quickly about spreads and why lines are moving the way they are.

What do women want (in sports betting)?

Tayla: What women want in sports betting is the same as what anyone would want: an inclusive environment.

Women seek platforms where they feel welcomed, where their insights and perspectives are valued, and where they can engage with the community without facing any biases or prejudices. The industry has made improvements in recent years, but there’s always room for improvement in anything, especially when it involves inclusivity and accessibility for all.

I think having more women in executive roles and having more seats at the table in the sports world is a great start, and it proves to be successful, as evidenced by the amazing Amy Howe, CEO of FanDuel.



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