First it was MGM Mirage, then came Stations and now Boyd Gaming has made betting as simple as reaching for your phone.
"It’s great for customers, especially for halftime football bets," said James Smith, ticket writer extraordinaire at Sam’s Town. "You won’t have to leave home and rush here to make the quick bet. There is privacy and immediacy from betting at home. It’s more business for us."
The "Sports Call" Phone Bet system was implemented last Friday at all of the Boyd properties, including Sam’s Town, Stardust, Fremont, California, Joker’s Wild and Eldorado. Applicants must be 21 years of age or older, have two forms of identification and make a $100 minimum cash deposit to open a phone account.
The daily wagering limit is $2,220 and the minimum bet is $5. Telephone wagers will only be accepted only from within the Las Vegas vicinity and no bets will be accepted from anyone except the account holder.
"I think the players will really enjoy the service," Smith said. "Boyd is taking the lead as far as halftime betting. We put halftime lines on so many games that it will be a joy for customers both in the casino and at home. I think it will save smart bettors a lot of money."
Stations has had the same system for well over a year, but recently added intranet computer wagering.
"We give customers the disc and they download the program," said Larry Weiss, race and sports manager at the newly-expanded Santa Fe Station. "When the customer installs the disc in his computer, it’s just like seeing the betting screen at the book.’’
Green Valley Ranch race and sports manager Kelly Downey said the response has been "fantastic" toward computerized betting.
"We’ve had it for about 1Â½ months," Downey said. "You just need a boarding pass card and driver’s license. We supply the CD for download."
Many still wish to call bets in by phone when not at the casino. Just as long as it’s good for football. That will work for all of us.
Pro football $1,000 side, $500 total
College football $1,000 side, $300 total
NCAA added games $1,000 side, $300 total
Pro basketball $1,000 side, $300 total
College basketball $1,000 side, $200 total
Baseball $1,000 side, $200 total
Hockey $500 side, $150 total
California, Joker’s Wild, Eldorado