Getting down gives games more bounce

Apr 2, 2002 8:32 AM

BETTING ENHANCES FUN! “I’ve got action all weekend and that’s why I like to come to Vegas to watch the NCAA Championship games,” said an unidentified bettor as he stood in the thick of it at a Strip hotel and casino where bettors were bumper-to-bumper.

The bettor said he lost a $20 parlay bet on Duke when the Hoosiers upset the favorite, but it didn’t bother the bettor.

Even if you don’t care about the teams that are playing, having a bet on them makes it interesting. You can’t do this anywhere else but Las Vegas.

He continued: “The tourney doesn’t top Super Bowl bets because it would compare one event to multiple games. But, as far as tournament betting, it’s by far the king of bets.”

SCHNOZZ DIDN’T GET DOWN! I called Sonny King Monday to wish him a happy birthday. I enjoy calling the famed entertainer. He always has a story. Listen!

“I was at the races one day with Jimmy Durante at Del Mar. He was strictly a $2 bettor. I was, too, except for rare occasions.

“Like the time he had a hunch and wanted to bet $100 to win. Someone had given him a tip on the 10 horse. Durante loved to bet tips, especially if a story came with them. I ran to the windows and bet the wrong horse. I bet the 5 horse, not the 10.

“Jimmy was furious. He insisted I take the tickets back and sell them at the window. At post time I still had four tickets to sell. Tony Bennett took two of them and I took the other two. I went back the box. Jimmy was still angry with me. As the horses turned for home Jimmy, using his binoculars, started screaming, ”˜Here comes your horse! Here comes your horse!’

“Sure enough, the 5 horse crossed the wire pricking his ears. As a long shot he paid $110 to win. Each of my $10 tickets was worth $550.

“Jimmy turned to me and said, ”˜We’re partners, right?’

“That was my boy, the Schnozz. Smart as an owl at the old racetrack.”

DID YOU KNOW? Steve Wynn is suing to protect trademarks that he and Wynn Resorts LLC own . . Wally Barr likes it where he is. The chief operating officer of Park Place Entertainment (PPE) re-upped for another three years when he signed a new contract in November. He had been named sole chief operating officer last summer following the death of Arthur Goldberg. In November he signed the contract that extended his stay to March 31, 2006. It was originally set to expire March 2003.

BLACKJACK DEALER OF NOTE! Funnyman Milton Berle who signed off last week was once a blackjack dealer at the Mapes Hotel in Reno. I knew there was something special about the funnyman. Now I know.

GALLAGHER AT THE PODIUM! Tom Gallagher, president and CEO at Park Place Entertainment (PPE), and Jim Perry, president and CEO of Argosy Gaming (AGY), will be the keynote speakers at the ninth annual Southern Gaming Summit, May 8-9. It will be held in Biloxi, Miss.

Perry, who’s been with Argosy since 1997, runs the ­­nation’s most successful riverboat casino with operations in Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Iowa and Louisiana.

The fee to attend the summit is $495. It includes all seminars and admission to the exhibits. If you want to save $100, register before May 1.

MOVING UP! Arnold Block, who has guided Argosy Casino to its position as America’s No. 1 riverboat, is moving upstairs. The company’s first and only general manager will continue to oversee operations at Argosy’s Lawrenceburg boat in his newly-created position as vice president of regional operations. Day-to-day management of the Lawrenceburg casino will be handled by a new general manager yet to be named.

Block will move back to his hometown of St. Louis, Mo.