Leave it up to Lucky’s Race and Sports Books to come up with the brilliant idea of combining two things loved as much in sports as parlay cards and soccer.
Whereas in the United States football is and probably always will be the thing, globally it’s futbol that is the most popular sport, and in the last couple of years in Nevada, betting on soccer has grown immensely.
One Lucky’s location, Terrible’s Hotel & Casino (4100 Paradise Road), has been the big hub of soccer action, and its sports book manager is a big part of the reason why this unique soccer parlay card was even created, according to Joe Asher, CEO and president of Brandywine Bookmaking, the operator of Lucky’s.
"Terrible’s (Las Vegas) has historically done a very good soccer business. A lot of soccer fans go in there and Doug Beil, the manager of the book there, who really enjoys soccer, puts a lot of effort into it," Asher revealed. "And as a result, he’s built up a pretty good soccer business over there and the clientele that plays there includes a lot of soccer fans.
"When we [Lucky’s] took over the book there, I talked to Doug about doing some different things in soccer. We started offering some soccer props, similar to what we do in football games. And I just thought we ought to try and do a soccer parlay card."
Asher said that creativity is one of the things that differentiates Lucky’s from the masses.
"We’ve put a real effort into trying to be innovative and offering things that no one else is doing," he said. "And it’s been well-received. People are playing it. Frankly, I think a big part of it is getting the word of mouth [about it] out there. It’s been growing. We just started doing it six to eight weeks ago."
Beil, whose reputation as a soccer fan precedes him among sports book heads around town, said Lucky’s offers both a mid-week card and a weekend card that includes games from a wide variety of leagues, including the main leagues in England, Spain, France, Germany, Italy and Mexico, among others, and the major tourneys like the UEFA Cup Championships and the World Cup.
"When I first started this idea about six years ago my thought was consumed with now many Hispanic people were moving to Southern Nevada," Beil said. "And there are also a lot of people from Europe – England, Bulgaria, Spain who are here … And they come here [Lucky’s] because we book the game in the way they are used to [with the draw-tie line]. It’s fun."
Lines on a Lucky’s soccer card usually range from pick ’em to -2 goals, there are no totals, and the results are based on regulation time only. And, any tie on the card simply reduces the parlay down a level, something gamblers got to love.
Besides Terrible’s on Paradise Road, Lucky’s has locations in the Silver State at the Plaza in downtown Las Vegas (the hub), Grand Sierra Resort & Casino in Reno, Buffalo Bill’s Resort & Casino and Whiskey Pete’s Hotel & Casino in Primm, Terrible’s Town Casino and Terrible’s Lakeside Casino in Pahrump, Red Lion Hotel & Casino and High Desert Inn in Elko, and Casino Fandango in Carson City.