Keeping it basic

Aug 5, 2008 7:03 PM

Vaccaro’s Views by Jimmy Vaccaro | A lot has changed since I wrote my last article for GamingToday both personally and professionally.

Personally I got older, took my first airplane ride in almost 15 years, got drenched by Shamu at Sea World and spent some time at the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island Bahamas.

Professionally, I took a position with Joe Asher and Lucky’s Race and Sports Book, which surely will pop up in conversation as the weeks roll on. Being reintroduced to the industry after almost 12 years away, I quickly found a myriad of changes, good and not so.

As Willie Mays said about baseball, "You throw it and I’ll hit it. You hit it and I’ll catch it." Pretty basic stuff.

In our world, it comes down to you at the counter reaching in your left front pocket laying 11-10. Either you come back in three hours for your cash or there’s a receipt worth no more than the paper it was written on. I will discuss the basics, but with the intention of showing the morphing of the industry from the 70’s and where both you and I believe it will go.

Remember it was a short 30 years ago that the Super Bowl was simply side and total with an occasional spot putting up a halftime. Now you need three days just to go over the menu for the big game. Could you ever conceive that a game like Oklahoma-Nebraska would be pre-empted by Dixie College vs Portland State? And then there’s March Madness with two games and cut-ins from the first Thursday through Sunday.

I could go on, but you get the point. We have made massive strides, but I will be a point of contention of not moving quickly enough and being creative in ways that have not been addressed or tried. Sports gambling can be entertaining, romantic, challenging, and most important "humbling." I have seen this racket bring down more men than the Wall Street crash of 1929.

We will discuss issues such as the cell phone ban and where it will go if repealed. I believe there will be many aspects to this story and maybe some not real pleasant. We’ll examine the general apathy at times of the industry, whether it was better years ago or just hollow old men rooting to be younger again?

This column will be aided by anyone who has bellyed up to the window and joined the fraternity. No diploma needed, just some heart and always a little cash. So we’ll discuss sports gambling issues woven in with a few old stories, but always looking ahead.

Hey, even I have come a long way with the plane ride and staying at Sea World.

Next week: Some good ideas and bad ones.

NOTE: Questions or comments can be addressed to Jimmy at [email protected] or [email protected]