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On this date in 1992, the Sport of Kings was thriving and hockey was at the Santa Fe. A lot sure can happen in 23 years.

Sport of Kings was advertising its fixed odds wagering, expanded future book, 13-inch TV monitors with 25 channels at each racebook seat, superb Turf Club on its 2nd Level, bet/cash at same window and special prop bets on selected races.

Their motto was “we cater to winners.” What a concept!

Yes, it was on Oct. 12, 1992 that Sports of Kings Race and Sports Book opened its doors for the first time. GamingToday was known as SPORTS FORM back then and its esteemed business editor Ray Poirier reported in a page 1 story that the unique stand-alone book was granted its license to operate after months of plodding through the regulatory process.

The concept was born in the mind of Las Vegas businessman Greg Peters a few years before. “It was bold and innovative especially in the wake of Nevada’s love affair with the no-risk pari-mutuel or common pool betting system that has attracted the state’s biggest books,” Poirier wrote.

This newspaper was also 24 pages that week and advertising made us go. KOW-AM 870 used our SPORTS FORM to promote its claim of being “Nevada’s only million dollar Country radio station. They prided themselves as playing hits of the 50’s to the 90’s starting with Ernest Tubb all the way up to Garth Brooks with a listening audience extending from Las Vegas to Laughlin.

Somehow I don’t think KOW could have ever envisioned Aerosmith’s Steven Tyler or Hootie and the Blowfish’s Darius Rucker on their format list.

Finally, Las Vegas welcomed Jay Vaccaro to the Desert Inn. At 28, Jay was the youngest race and sportsbook manager in Las Vegas. You may have heard of Jay’s uncle, Jimmy Vaccaro. Jimmy just turned 70 and is still going strong. South Point is lucky to have him.

Mark Mayer has over 35 years covering sports events and is the sports editor at GT. Twitter: @MarkMayerGT Email: [email protected]

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