Cannery christens new race book

May 2, 2006 3:51 AM

The self-proclaimed "best little sports book in town," intends to branch out. Now, the Cannery wants to be "the best locals race book."

"Business in the book has almost doubled over the four years we’ve been in operation," said Eric St. Clair, race and sports director at the Rampart, the hub for its satellite operation at Cannery. "This will be a beautiful book for people to enjoy."

The brand new race book has been a project Cannery sports book manager Kevin Klein said the customers lobbied for over the past 2½ years.

"It was time for this race book," said Klein, who expects the 129-seat, 10-station book to be operating just in time for Saturday’s Kentucky Derby. "The customers have been begging for it and with this area (Craig Road) growing so much, there really is a need to take care of our horse players."

Klein came to the Cannery last August after working back and forth between the Excalibur and Monte Carlo since 1991. The Excalibur runs one of the more successful race books in Vegas and Klein’s experience there will prove valuable to giving race customers what they want.

Of the 129 seats, 109 will have individual TV monitors. The book has high ceilings that will improve the smoke ventilation and will feature both state of the art equipment and an "old-school" look.

"The sports book area will have the electronic boards, a major upgrade from how it currently looks," he said. "We made sure the race book would have the old fashioned race boards, plenty of aisle space between rows, plus a VIP high-limit area that seats nine and saved for the biggest race players that day. It’s going to be a real popular place."

Betting for both race and sports events will be taken in the race book, which will have 10 windows as opposed to just three in the old sports book where long lines during football season was a concern.

"We will be comping players in our tracking system based on points," Klein said. "Our plan is to also have ”˜Horseman’s Specials’ twice a week that will raise the comp odds for our players. We feel like our comp rates are the best in town."

Other perks in the new race book include free Racing Forms, adjacent rooms for bingo and poker, along with an Italian restaurant and a 14-theater, Galaxy movie complex.

"Now we have a race book our customers are going to enjoy for years to come," Klein continued. "Our staff has increased from 7 to 18 and we filled up our openings in just a couple of weeks. "We’re planning race contests, twin quinellas and anything that customers would like. We listened to what our horse racing fans wanted."