IN THE BEGINNING was the bible of Las Vegas, predicated on legal gambling. People from all over the world fled places where it was prohibited.
They flocked to the Las Vegas Mecca where they could drink and gamble freely and legally. Our Mecca grew – not because of the buffets, pretty buildings and waterfalls – but because of gambling.
Those who tossed the dice and played the tables were rewarded with some of the greatest entertainment in the world – the Lido show, Follies, Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack.
The list goes on and on and on.
As Las Vegas and the rest of the country struggle with a bad economy, some say gambling is passé. They say the city has become more like Rome where folks in shorts and T’s stroll up and down the Strip. They carry high powered cameras and cell phones taking photos of all the beautiful sites.
They stand in line for the low and high priced buffets. There are very few lay downs being made at the tables and the dice roll slow in the pit. So is gambling passé?
I say not, especially when it comes to having the ability to make a big score with small money. As the movie said, “build it and they will come.” That’s what Bugsy Siegel did. Bugsy built it and they came in droves, not for the sights, but to gamble. They still will if we give them a gamble, and that is where I am going.
The race industry has been in a constant struggle to make ends meet the last several years with their cliental getting older, with the higher prices giving them less expendable capital to bet with.
A horse player is a horse player and a gambler is a gambler. Any betting person will take a shot at a big pool and that is what went on this past weekend at Station Casinos at the race books. In the month of April, Station has had a 10k payoff on their signature bet, the Twin Q, every Saturday.
This past Saturday it was not hit. So on Sunday, with the carryover, it was worth a cool $15,102.40, and they came as it built up ever higher.
One of my favorite TQ bettors is 86-year-old Reverend Willie Conway. Willie is just seen on TQ days as he puts in his $4 for a shot. He never wanders about on a Sunday. He is in his church preaching the Gospel, not the gambling one.
As I look up around 2 p.m. this past Sunday, low and behold, here comes this guy dressed to the nine’s wearing a beautiful light blue seersucker suit patent leather shoes, a light blue shirt with the most beautiful silk tie to match. He looked like he just stepped out of GQ. He was here to play the TQ.
Reverend Willie went for $8. He was alive in the first half but just had the winner in the second half as his other selection ran up the track. Willie smiled and said, “I will see you guys on Thursday the good Lord willing and the creeks don’t rise.”
The 10k Saturday Q has one more event this Saturday and there will be a 20k Q for the Kentucky Derby. You can bet your bottom dollar Reverend Willy will be there and will be dressed to the nines with probably $8 in his pocket. But Station built the TQ and they came.
To whom it may concern at Station in charge of making big decisions: I have an idea and, like always, I will pass it on.
The 10k Q on Saturdays in April was a great idea and a big success, especially with the free $2 bet coupons that were mailed out. You built the TQ and they came. The rainbow pick six at Gulfstream Park was a huge success. Many bettors who usually did not play a pick six jumped in and took a shot at the big payoff with several here in Vegas hitting it for big money.
I say do the same thing with the TQ. On Saturdays have a separate pool starting at 10k, but to take down the entire pool only one ticket must hit. There will be a consolation payoff if there is more than one winner, and every Saturday the pool will grow and they will continue to come.
I guarantee it. I’ve talked to a lot of bettors. They all love the idea. Station started a good thing for us lowly horse bettors; I say don’t stop now, keep on building. You will be amazed at what will happen.
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