Persistence does pay off.
After 20 years of pointers under legends Vaccaro, Gregorka, DelGenio and Avello, Lori Terry now makes her own lines. The plan is for Jerry’s Nugget to see lines form to bet in her sports book.
"They definitely want to improve and expand their book," said Terry, who took over at Jerry Nugget last week as sports book director following 18 years at Bally’s — some with ex-husband Rob Terry and all for former boss John Avello.
"I started under Lenny DelGenio and Bob Gregorka at The Frontier," she said. "My sister worked at Barbary Coast under Jimmy Vaccaro. I moved to Bally’s and later was a supervisor. Johnny was an incredible director and a wonderful guy."
Terry said she intended to retire at Bally’s, but when Avello decided to move on to Wynn Las Vegas replacing another industry giant Vinny Magliulo, it began a chain reaction that left Lori thinking there was no room for further advancement.
"When Johnny left, it definitely did make me sit down and think about the future," she said. "I was approached about the director’s position at Jerry Nugget and thought it would be a wonderful opportunity, which it is."
Jerry’s Nugget is unique as an independent book. There are no ties to corporate giants like Boyd, Harrah’s, MGM Mirage, Station Casinsos or Coast Resorts. And, those limits! Try $500 tops for the Super Bowl.
"To say shocked would be an appropriate word," smiled Terry, who noted that Bally’s had a $50,000 limit for a Super Bowl wager. "Certainly we’re not going to see $50G here. It would bring in a different clientele than is the norm and we really like the quality of people who regularly play our book. However, I do think we can raise our limits to at least $1,000."
That wasn’t the only opening week surprise at Jerry’s that Terry experienced.
"The newness of the staff, having several inexperienced writers," she said. "I didn’t expect that, but I think it’s a positive for me. I have a chance to learn about Jerry’s along with them. Management is a little conservative, but along with them. Management is a little conservative, but that’s fine. They have expressed a desire to grow and that appeals to me very much."
The Nugget has plans to upgrade its customer seating in the book and having eight betting windows is quite large for an independent. Several of Leroy’s sites across the state have one and two-man operations.
"We’re considered more of a sports book, which is fine," she said. "I would like to see more horse players and believe more will come in time as our staff gains experience."
Terry is not the first woman sports director in Las Vegas, but the chance to make lines sets her apart from peers.
"We’re planning on staying an independent, which is very exciting," she said. "This is a great chance to show that women are just as good in sports management operations as the men. I thank Jerry’s Nugget for having trust in me."