‘Net, sports bets on the chopping block?

Nov 12, 2002 7:18 AM

   FEDS SHARPEN THEIR PENCILS! The recent elections may signal another assault on Internet and college sports betting. You can bet McCain and Kyl are licking their anti-gaming chops.

   With a Republican majority in the Senate, the restrictive Leach bill, which cleared the Republican-controlled House last session, appears to have a better shot. And President Bush is pushing for passage.

   But Tony Cabot, a Las Vegas lawyer and national expert on interactive gaming, said things could be worse for e-gamers.

    “Fundamentally, the Leach bill is a state’s rights bill. It clearly allows intrastate (web) wagering,’’ said the attorney for the firm of Lionel Sawyer and Collins.

   Still, that’s small solace for high-tech gamers looking to set up shop. E-betting remains politically problematic in even the rosiest scenario.

   “If I were a (gaming) supplier, I’d be getting into lotteries right now,’’ Cabot advises.

   Even more uncertain is the fate of college sports wagering. Experts aren’t taking any bets on how — or if — the new, more Republican Congress will deal with this issue next year.

   But Bob Faiss, a gaming attorney with Lionel Sawyer and Collins, says the early signs are not encouraging. Sen. McCain, author of the bill banning collegiate sports betting, will likely return to a committee chairmanship, giving him greater power to move his legislation to the floor.

   One thing’s for sure: “It will be more difficult for (Democratic Sen.) Harry Reid to block any legislation,’’ Cabot muses.


   A ROAST AT THE COAST: It will be Kent Desormeaux’s turn to take his lumps Tuesday night (Nov. 12) at the Orleans Hotel & Casino as the Coast Casinos Inc. host a roast for one of America’s premier jockeys.

   And Gaming Today staffers will be on hand to monitor the event.

   Tickets are available at the Orleans box office with each ducat going for $45. All proceeds will be donated to the Shoemaker Foundation.

   Desormeaux, currently occupying a position in the jock’s room at Hollywood Park, will have a lot of company from among his competitors. Expected to came along to make sure the Cajun native gets his lumps are Laffit Pincay, Jr., the country’s leading race winner; Mike Smith, Victor Espinoza, David Flores, Corey Nakatani, Alex Solis, fellow Cajun Eddie Delahoussaye and Hall of Famer Bill Shoemaker.

   Cocktails and a silent auction begin at 6 p.m. while dinner and the festivities will follow at 7 p.m.


   AHEAD OF HIS TIME: Looking to bring in bettors to his Aladdin Hotel/Casino sports betting emporium, David Sanchilli has come up with a unique attraction: a betting line that is a week ahead of its time.

   “Here’s how it works,” explained Sanchilli. “Each Sunday at 8 a.m. I put up betting lines for the NFL games that are going to be played not that day but the following week.

   “The early line stays up until the first NFL game gets underway, usually about two hours. After I take the numbers down, they don’t go up again until Monday morning.

   “ It’s kind of fun. When we put the numbers up, we have no idea what’s going to happen that afternoon. Things like quarterbacks or running backs getting hurt and knocked out of action. It’s a chance that we’re taking and so is the bettor.

   “But, the fans should know that if they think they have a pretty good handle on next week’s before this week’s game has been played, then they should “Come On Down” to the Aladdin. It’s the only place in town where they can get down.”


   IT’S A QUESTION OF TIMING: “Don’t expect competing airlines to rush new planes into service to make up for the loss of seats created by the demise of National Airlines,” commented a Las Vegas observer.

   “The National shutdown happened just when the holiday slowdown is taking place. Expect for a big convention, things are going to be on the quiet side at least until New Year’s Eve.

   “During the interim, the other lines will be able to weigh the additional calls and bookings they get that normally would have gone to National. Then they’ll add seats accordingly.

   “Unfortunately, after the airline employees, the travelers are the ones that will take the hit. After all, with less competition, expect the prices to rise,” he added.