Sports book employees get hazard pay after World Series rainout

Nov 4, 2008 4:52 PM

Vaccaro’s View by Jimmy Vaccaro |

All sports book employees received hazard pay after answering all questions about the rain shortened suspended Phils-Rays World Series game this past week. 

The rule is very clear but the "splaining" (as Ricky Ricardo would have said) is not that simple. No one really knows when we started the rain-shortened version of this payoff and I admit not to know either.

As a kid, I do remember hearing it explained this way: "Kid, I need decisions not carryovers."

It doesn’t matter where, but the question begs do we address it as an industry or keep status quo? Remember this is a house rule and you can change, tweak, or amend without any approval as long as you do not go too far. Plus, gaming has to feel it is a fair and balanced policy.

Personally at Lucky’s we are not ready to change the rule, but would value some conversation on the subject. Maybe by next baseball season there will be a better way of attacking the problem.

Remember there were probably 15 to 20 rain-shortened games this year, but the firestorm only started because this was baseball’s biggest stage. There were first-time bettors (common in big events) who are not going to read the rules posted before making the wager. In this case, it was Game 5 of the World Series.

As we all know there are basically three ways to bet on a baseball game – side, total, and run line. The total and run line are refunded, but the bet on the side will be declared a winner if it goes the required distance.

Whether we agree or don’t, we know why the total and run line are refunded. Yet the rule is somewhat inconsistent since one method is not refunded. We do not count the run scored in the top of the inning for reasons we know, but if the home team ties in the bottom half and a delay is called that run is "counted."

Again it’s confusing especially explaining to customers who are holding Rays tickets. Remember there’s no inherent advantage to the book in these spots, but it’s a nightmare from a public relations perspective. I would recommend we look at possibly having the game go the distance before any bets are paid.

Collectively we would have to discuss what happens if there’s a stoppage with regard to all the prop bets. Getting me and my boss Joe Asher to decide on one thing is next to impossible. so imagine getting the whole industry to agree on an across the board change.

Remember this week we will have a definite change in Washington, so maybe we can have a switch on an antiquated rule that might have run its course.