A new orbit

Apr 17, 2007 7:25 AM

From this day on, if you rub Aladdin’s lamp the look will distinctively be Planet Hollywood. More like Hard Rock than Luxor.

"I don’t know if it will bring a new clientele to the hotel, but I think you would have to assume it would," said Brad Bryant, race and sports director for the resort hotel off Harmon

A spanking new poker room was part of the Phase I in a refurbishing effort designed to change the image of the former Aladdin, which has had its internal squabbles since the glory days of Sinatra’s Rat Pack.

"Our race and sports book will be completed in the next phase, hopefully sometime in June said Bryant, whose tour of duty three years at Aladdin, five at Boulder Station and one at Sunset. "Our new book will be quite a bit larger than has ever been here before and, as always, will cater to the race player."

Not that the Aladdin is trying to side with horse players over sports bettors, or vice versa. Just the fact, horse players have liked betting at the Aladdin in the past and want that desire to continue as Planet Hollywood.

"We know the people who play the horses," Bryant said. "They have always been good for the casino. The fact we are an independent allows us to be sort of maverick in the industry in terms of lines and futures. It’s a path we intend to pursue even more when we get into the new book."

The forecast is for sometime in June. For now, Planet Hollywood runs a 20-cent line on baseball.

"I know a lot of people shop numbers, which is the way to go," Bryant said. "It’s in our plans to take chances, which might means going up or down a half-point on games. I definitely here bettors talk about Vegas being too conservative, not willing to throw out a line and taking more of the corporate mentality route. I understand that part of it, but my philosophy has always been that I don’t have to take $100,000 on everything I put up.

"A lot of people come into town wanting to bet just $20 or 25," Bryant continued. "My plan doesn’t mean wanting to have highest limits in town, but being very willing to afford bettors the opportunity to wager on that particular matchup or event.

Bryant backs up his aggressiveness by offering a reverse run line, a 2½ run line on weekends along with some of the best futures in town.

"We tend to try to keep the highest number we can on the futures," he said. "A lot of people want to bet them. It’s another way to get people to come in here."

Here, meaning Planet Hollywood.

"That’s the message we want to get across," he said. "This isn’t Aladdin anymore."

Up in smoke, if you will.