Judgment may hurt casino sports shops

Nov 26, 2002 7:52 AM

   SHOULD AWI SEND OUT AN SOS FOR CBS?  What sounds like alphabet soup translates this way: Could American Wagering’s company, CBS, be in trouble because of a recent $2 million judgment?

   That’s been the concern of some sports shop bookies around town who rely on the CBS (Computerized Bookmaking Systems) machines to process their sports bets.

   But if anyone knows the venerable Vic Salerno, he probably has something up his massive sleeves. Vic’s company is currently putting together stand-alone kiosks that can accept sports bets after hours. He’s hoping to get a prototype ready for trial tests next spring.

   In the meantime, Vic is waiting for a final verdict on the judgment obtained by Michael Racusin, who received a preliminary award of $2.16 million. The final judgment order should come within weeks.

   No one at American Wagering, which also owns and operates about 45 Leroy’s sports books in Nevada, has said what options the company is considering. But Nevada sports directors hope they come up with something to keep the company operating. Few people understand how deeply embedded Vic’s operations are to the race and sports betting industry.


   MIGHT IT BE OVER-REACTION?  “What a joke to see all these racing executives scurrying around announcing all kinds of moves that they hope will restore the horseplayer’s confidence in the sport. It’s typical. When they should be acting, they don’t so when problems develop like that phony Pick Six, they run around like the proverbial chicken,” said a caller who has spent many years tearing up pari-mutuel tickets.

   “Can you imagine they’re even going so far as to bring in Rudy Giuliani?  Sure, players get hot when they find out they’ve been had. But you know what? They come right back for more. They might hold back a little for a while but it won’t last.

   “It used to be said that if you padlocked the gates, the horseplayers would find a way to jump over. They may be getting a little older and might find it harder to jump the fence, but they’ll be back.

   “No thanks to all these high-priced execs who will never understand the horseplayer’s mentality,” he said.


   HE’S WEARING A NEW HAT: He’s been around a long time and he’s developed a reputation as a solid casino operator, but Wally Barr should find quickly enough that his position has changed drastically.

   He knows what it’s like to be the company’s No. 2 Man, but he’s now No. 1 at Park Place Entertainment and he’ll have to prove his mettle all over again.

   Barr has spent nearly all of his career in Atlantic City while wearing Caesars pinstripes and during the 90’s as the backup to the late Arthur Goldberg. And, even though his responsibilities were expanded to other parts of the country in the last couple of years, he still will be faced with the challenges posed by a highly-competitive dynamic in Las Vegas.

   The “king is dead”¦long live the king.”


   BRING SHOES, SHIRT AND LOSSES! Apparently winners aren’t welcome at the Greektown Casino in Detroit. Reportedly, the casino has banned video poker players who win too much!

   In recent weeks, Greektown has ejected about 30 regular players because their winnings, freebies, comps and other incentives have made the players unprofitable for the casino.

   Unprofitable? Should players deposit their luck — like a six-gun and holster — at the front door before entering?

   Greektown contends that if it didn’t bar these renegade winners, then they would have to cut back on their loyalty benefits, giveaways and other promotions.

   Of course, the casino has every right to bar anyone. But, in most places, the practice has seldom extended beyond barring suspected card-counters at the blackjack tables.

   What’s next? Setting a limit on how much you can win? Thank goodness the gamers in Nevada respect Lady Luck and all of her whims. Even the ones that occasionally allow a player to win!


   CONGRATULATIONS FOR A TERRIBLE ANNIVERSARY! Here’s an early toast to our friends at Terrible’s Hotel Casino, on the site of the old Continental Hotel. You have to give the Herbst brothers and their partners credit for creating such a popular locals casino in such a short amount of time.

   Terrible’s celebrates its 2nd Anniversary on December 6 (Friday), and the players are the ones to gain the benefits. All day beginning at 11 a.m., there will be 2-for-1 drinks, 2-for-1 buffet, 2-for-1 entrees and 2-for-1 on royal flushes for Players Club members.

   There will also be free champagne and cake from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Also, all month (Dec. 1-28) Players Club members will receive 10X cash back.

   This is a party that shouldn’t be missed!