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Viewpoint of Las Vegas
"Vegas Chickens or
Lock Betting Only?”
By: Frank Rosenthal
|By the end of this millennium, Las Vegas,
Boomtown USA, will sport over 130,000 Hotel/Casino rooms. The
latest and most elegant entry that will reign supreme over the Las Vegas
strip is the newly crowned jewel Venetian Resort Hotel Casino. Located
at the very center of the Las Vegas Strip on the former site of the
legendary Sands Hotel this super structure tuned from Venice Italy has a
projected construction price tag floating around $2.5 billion. Phase
one includes 3,036 suites with 2,500 slots and most every game known to man.
Phase two will add 3,000 more suites with additional 2,500 one armed
bandits. Every conceivable attraction aimed to lure you on board
including a sensuous weight watcher paradise. Make no mistake about
it, these Venice/ Las Vegas Barons know when and where to "Let it Ride."
The Race & Sports books will offer players more comfort, luxury and state of
the art magic than Siegfried & Roy.
The new resort casinos are splendid and lavish beyond description.
Add the continuous thrills of all your favorite casino games, friendly
dealers and atmosphere second to none. No better place to play
then Las Vegas! Don’t you believe it; they’re looking to send you home in a
Mega Resorts does not equal Mega Sports Betting! Time to make a
bet and you’re a high roller. Pari-mutuel wagering, you can bet what
you weigh, dwarfs or Sumo wrestlers the sky is the limit. Full
track odds with no limits! Pick your favorite pony and name your pleasure.
$1 million or higher, sounds cool but here’s the trap. Unlike casino gaming,
where you’re betting against the house, this venture becomes cozy. Now
you’re betting against everybody else within the pool including yourself and
your dollar becomes substantially devalued. Unknowingly, you became
the bookmaker; the house took a powder!
Ready for some sports betting with sky-high limits on your favorite
team? Now that’s a horse of a different color. There isn’t
a sports book parlor in the entire state that will allow you to wing it.
Maybe the Venetian moguls will change the way those "Smart Chickens" deal.
Uniformly they refuse to allow the player any chance to ring their bell, in
spite of the fact that the ranch won’t be foreclosed if you’re lucky enough
to score. They hold king size bankrolls; overwhelming advantages, yet
they’re just not willing to allow you a square shot when the game of chance
is not a slam dunk for the home team.
Let us look back into history. Not that many years ago a
couple of friends and I were tracking a New Years Day Bowl Game. I
called a sports book looking to play quite high. Here’s exactly the
way it happened, simple and efficiently. "Run down the menu please."
"Okay # 101." As Bob methodically ran the line I stopped him when he
came to my target. "I’ll take Slippery Rock minus 7 for the limit
please." "Okay #101 you have Slippery Rock minus 7 for 100 DIMES."
I then inquired, "what are you going to make it now?" The gentleman
bookmaker moved the line by a mere half point after accepting a limit wager
of $100,000.00. I hit him again, same side, same limit. He
repeated the action, I acknowledged okay. The conversation ended this way.
"Thank you #101."
Just recently a good friend of mine and one of the original "Wise Guys"
told me of his experiences. "Frank, I had a good tip on a pony,
drove all over town, ended up at the Barbary Coast, and they reluctantly
gave me a ticket for $20.00 bucks." "I’m lucky they didn’t call
security or 86 me." "Not just the Barbary, they’re all the same."
I inquired, "how about the Hilton and their Super Book." "Forget
it." "What about the Mirage?" "They’ll deal higher, but also
scared." "How about baseball or football?" "They play faces; if
you’re labeled an apple (sucker) they’ll take a descent bet."
"If you're half sharp the ground rules change." "College football
2 to 3 dimes (thousands), the pro games, anywhere from 5 to 10 dimes."
"If your looking to play on totals the limit is only a couple of dimes at
most." If it’s not a lock they don’t want to play! Sports’
betting is not an exact science; therefore the casinos play it close to the
Las Vegas style gaming has taken a step backwards and may very well pay
the price somewhere down the line, as gambling becomes more acceptable and
widespread throughout the world. Today they enjoy the proverbial lock,
but nothing lasts forever. When states like California, New York or
Florida awaken and recognize the reality of countries landscape changes
become inevitable. They’re virtually surrounded by border states
who are reaping in million upon millions from there own populous enjoying
the taxation that equals prosperity and the real superhighway for their
constituents. Higher salaries for schoolteachers, law enforcement, and
a superior infrastructure.
The benefits to the states are endless given practical regulatory
guidelines by knowledgeable and experienced professionals. The
opponents for legalized gaming contend that widespread gaming will corrupt
the morale character of the nation through addiction forcing the masses
towards skid row. That’s a hollow and baseless argument. No one
is going to prevent or halt the future and speed of World-Class gaming.
It’s the people’s choice and the public will be served eventually!
When the Horseshoe and Stardust Casinos were healthy and organized the
playing field was more level rather then disproportionate. Nobody
beats the casinos, we knew it. Our marketing strategies were basic and
simple. Grind rather then gouge, genuine hospitality, personalized
service, delightful food priced for the customer rather then the casino with
diversified entertainment and friendly personnel at all levels. The
message board read, "Kill ‘em with Kindness." Today’s casino blackboards
read, "Never Give a Sucker an Even Break."
Rumor row. The mystery $1 Million that allegedly was placed on
Holyfield just a few hours prior to the Holyfield/Lewis fiasco. Did It
happen? You couldn’t spread that much money around Las Vegas if you
had 100 runners and 24-hour lead-time. Years ago perhaps, in today’s
Las Vegas it’s a whole new ball game. Keno, one-armed bandits, the big six,
poker parlors, blackjack, baccarat, roulette, pit bosses clocking and
hawking your action.
Good luck, avoid the ponies and the misleading advertising. You
can win a race but you can’t beat the races. Stay tuned; see you
next month, same time, same friendly locations.
P.S. The Venetian Hotel/Casino with all of its splendor and prime
location will undoubtedly become the hottest ticket in town. Had
I been in the "War" room during the conceptual planning stage I would have
included a dedicated Tower devoted towards research and rehabilitation for
substance abuse. A genuine World Class Medical Center would have
attracted a customer wait list into the Twenty-First-Century. Just
think about it, recovery, kicks, and methadone from "Venice with Love." What
a patent; maybe I’ll file.