Richard Saber, Staff Writer

Nov 5, 2008 1:08 AM
Richard Saber was born in one of the gambling capitals of the United States -- Steubenville, Ohio -- which is located on the Ohio River just 39 miles from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In the 40's and 50's and 60's when the steel mills where going great, Steubenville had at least a dozen high end gambling stores in the city and people would drive in from the surrounding areas to bet sports, horses and play some dice or bet a number. Saber made his first bet as a 12-year-old; it was a four team baseball parlay. He started going to the race track at about the same time with his father, who traveled the 21 miles to Waterford Park every night that the ponies were running.

Saber ventured to Las Vegas at age 29, back in 1977, since some friends wanted to open a sports service and they needed someone to run it. He took on that job with Westco Sports Group Inc. They also put out a weekly newsletter with college and pro football selections called Las Vegas Best. He left that position in 1980 to take a job at the Stardust race and sports book, where he became odds maker and sports book manager until 2000 -- when he went to work at the Excalibur race and sports book. He also opened the Luxor race and sports book. Saber has booked some of the smartest bettors in Vegas in his 20 years as a bookmaker. Now he is going up against them.