Nothing Terrible about soccer

Sep 3, 2002 11:23 AM

Terrible’s is doing a huge business in football, but it’s not the American type.

"We take quite a few soccer leagues," said Doug Beil, race and sports manager at Terrible’s Hotel/Casino on E. Flamingo and Paradise. "I am really glad to see all the interest, especially being a lifelong soccer fan."

Beil believes Terrible’s has become a pioneer for soccer wagering in Las Vegas, not so much for carrying the odds but the number of different options bettors have.

"We will consider any changes if that’s what the customers want," Beil said. "Right now we are taking bets on the English, Mexican, German, Spanish and Italian leagues. All are doing well, particularly the Mexican."

Leagues are quite extensive in soccer, still the most popular sport in the world. While soccer does not have the same appeal in the United States, Terrible’s has jumped at the chance to tap into the intense ethnic interest the sport has developed.

"We were the first book to put up Mexican league soccer," Beil said. "So many Hispanic people in Las Vegas followed the Mexican games and we have really been pleased and excited with all this interest."

European leagues run from late August to May. The summer months are used for big tournaments, such as the European Championships and the World Cup.

"The Mexican league has two championships, one in December and the other in May," Beil said. "With two different seasons, the actions goes almost all the time."

Beil is hopeful that the interest in Mexican soccer will carry over will help the sport develop a stronger fan base around Las Vegas.

"Not enough people know we are doing it," he said. "Everyone was overwhelmed about the volume of the World Cup betting. The Champions League started in August and it’s down to 32 teams. We have been following that closely."

Beil said that Terrible’s are considering adding lines from the leagues in France and Argentina.

"We have had requests about them and are considering

putting their games on our sheet," he said. "We’re just glad to be paving the way for soccer. I would love to see it catch on everywhere."

Suncoast heating up

Race and sports director Eddie Ricca said that the Summerlin-based hotel/casino will pay 360 spots in the 25th annual Pick The Pros football contest. First place is $100,000.