Whether deliberate or coincidental, the placing of the new race and sports book next to ESPN Zone in New York, New York should produce a great marriage.
“We’re really excited,” race and sports book manager Michael Piranio said during a lunch break at the Zone as he gazed at the current construction to what could be the most hi-tech operation of its kind in Las Vegas.
“We have 46 televisions, including 16 that are 61-inches,” Piranio said. “There will be live pool totals and up to the second information from the tracks. We have never had race book wagering before and now, not only do we have it, but we are completely hi-tech.”
The new race and sports book, along with a keno area, is slated to open next Monday, Aug. 27. Two-time Kentucky Derby-winning jockey Kent Desormeaux, the quickest ever to 3,000 career victories, will be the special guest for the official grand opening promotion Tuesday, Aug. 28.
“Kent is coming in from Del Mar to be here and he will available to talk with the customers,” Piranio said. “This will be a great way to start the race book.”
The race and sports book will have a definite New York flavor, built in a city playground motif.
“It’s definitely a New York City environment,” Piranio said. “There’s bricks and walls all around. We’re not very big, but we are state of the art and comfortable.”
Piranio came over to New York, New York in April after a stint at Bellagio. Prior to that, he was at the Mirage.
“I was happy to be at both places, especially Bellagio,” Piranio said. “Not many people get the chance to open a race and sports book, which I now have the opportunity at here. With the location we have, we will be the place to be on Saturday and Sunday for sports betting and all week for racing.”
Rory Hascall, executive director of casino operations, said the placement of the new race and sports book next to ESPN Zone will complement both sites.
“This was an obvious place,” Hascall said. “We have tried to take the best of both the old and new Vegas. “There will be special parties for high-profile events like the Breeders Cup and the Super Bowl. We are right on schedule.”
Keno also benefits from the new location, complete with brand new computers, a faster game and 13 additional staff members.
“This new game will really be beautiful,” said Isa Schilling, the casino’s keno manager. “We have a new game device called the AKV 2100, which allows for a faster, more secure game. One person can operate each game. We are very excited with our new location.”
Piranio said the opening has added to the excitement of the upcoming football season.
“We will have some of the best parlay card payoffs in town,” he said. “Once people are in here, I think they will stay.”
NEW YORK, NEW YORK
What: Race and sports book
Where: Adjacent to ESPN Zone
When: Monday, Aug. 27.
Amenities: 46 TVs, including sixteen 61-inch sets. Kiosk setup with up to the second race results and past records and information up to a year old. Close proximity to food and beverages at ESPN Zone. Touch screens with internet capability available at seats.
Promotions: Two-time Kentucky Derby champion jockey Kent Desormeaux will talk to customers Tuesday, Aug. 28 for the “official” grand opening. Free hors d’oeuvres from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Complementary drinks for anyone in the race and sports book Tuesday. NYNY will give away free race mugs to all race players next Wednesday. T-shirt day will be Thursday. Cap day is Friday.
Special events: A drawing will be held each day starting Aug. 27 for hotel, airfare and tickets for two to the Breeders Cup at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y. The drawing ends Oct. 12.