Don’t judge lady bookmaker by her cover

Nov 27, 2001 7:58 AM

Coleen Logsdon represents the new wave of race and sports manager, and not just because of gender.

“To be honest, it’s kind of an impersonal job these days because sports knowledge is no longer a major requirement,” said the race and sports manager at Mandalay Bay. “I happen to like sports, but I couldn’t hold a conversation with a football or basketball fan because I don’t know enough about it.”

Logsdon is a pleasant change from the current trend toward public relations departments overseeing all words and appointments emanating from gaming, where even the most minor of requests has to go through diplomatic channels.

“I’m happy to be able to talk about my job because I consider it a great coup for me that I have it,” Logsdon said, while munching on a burger and chips in the break room. “Not many women are interested in this.”

Logsdon is second in command to the highly-regarded Nick Bogdanovich, who is the oddsmaker and director of race and sports at Mandalay Bay.

“I like sports and got interested in the business when I was 21 through a guy I knew who was opening up the Sport of Kings book in town,” said Logsdon, now 30. “It was just a race book and eventually it went out of business. From there I went on to the Barbary Coast.”

Logsdon, an American born in India, later wrote tickets at Boulder Station for 3½ years before moving on to Sunset Station. She then landed the plum job of race and sports manager at Mandalay Bay under Bogdanovich.

“We make our own odds here through Nick, as we did for the fight (Lewis-Rahman),” she said. “Sometimes we get surprised, like we did for that fight when the odds continued to go down on Rahman. Usually the big money goes to the favorite.”

Logsdon is not the only female race and sports manager in Las Vegas, but she has the most high-profile job. And it’s a position that is being re-defined daily.

“Mandalay Bay is a great place to work and I don’t plan on going anywhere else,” she said. “I would suggest other women interested in getting into the business to keep after it. There still is the stereotype, but you just have to fight for what you want.”

In a different generation, Logsdon would have been considered a women’s libber. Today, she is merely a product of positive thinking and refusing to back down to pressure.

“The best part of my job is meeting people,” she said. “The worst part is having to deal with impatient people. Fortunately, I am in a position now where I can pass that on to others.”

Logsdon has a tomboy look and an Ally McBeal attitude. She is the epitome of corporate, which fits the mode of today’s race and sports book managers.

The fact this business has transformed from sports to computer and marketing knowledge at the management level has allowed for women to crack the “boys club.”

“I am proud of what I have been able to do professionally,” she said. “The industry is changing. There are a number of women writers, and the opportunity is improving to move up in the business. You just have to want it.”

Logsdon is the product of the groundwork set forth two decades ago by predecessors Adele Castle, Jeanne Hood and Claudine Williams, who were running the race and sports operations at Golden Nugget, Four Queens and Holiday Casinos respectively.

“There is still a bit of a stereotype for women as far as management positions are concerned,” Logsdon said. “But, I am proof that it can happen.”