BETTORS OVERWHELM SPORTSBOOKS: Sunday’s NFL games were, one could say, an interesting experience for Las Vegas bookmakers.
"It developed into a social event," said Eric St. Clair of the Rampart/Cannery casinos. "We got to know the bettors when they bought their tickets, then became reacquainted when they came back to cash out three hours later."
It couldn’t have been that bad, could it?
"Our cashiers had blisters on their hands paying off all the winning tickets for the early NFL games," added Tony Neville, sports boss at the New Frontier.
The reason for the rash of winning bets was that all the favorites won in the seven early (10 a.m.) NFL games. And everyone knows the public tends to shade the favorites.
And can you imagine the payoff for a winning, seven game parlay? In some places it would be more than 100-1! I get blisters even thinking about it!
SOUR NOTE FOR CANDY RIDE: The word around Santa Anita ON Monday morning was that Ron McAnally’s undefeated Candy Ride won’t run in the Breeder’s Cup Classic on Oct. 25.
"The owners were ready to post the $800,000," said a shedrow pipe. "But Ron decided the horse needed a well-deserved rest, and emerge next season as a fresh horse."
Candy Ride, an undefeated four-year-old that hails from Argentina is owned by Jenny Craig, of the health club fame, and her husband Sid.
Our pipe added that McAnally would probably prepare Candy Ride for a run at the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap next March. 6.
DID LANNI PLANT THE SEED? A couple of years ago, when Terry Lanni had interests in a pair of grass racing specialists (Silic and Ladies Din), he found himself in Dubai where the royal family puts on an annual racing show that almost rivals the Breeders Cup here in the U.S.
While admiring the area during a tour with a member of the Maktoum al Maktoum family, he remarked how he would love to build a gaming destination resort on the beautiful seashore, if the country ever agreed to permit gambling.
It never happened.
Even when the major racing events for purses worth millions are conducted, there is no wagering in Dubai, although other countries are permitted to conduct wagering on the simulcast races.
So Lanni’s conversation had to come back to mind this weekend when Kerzner International announced it was going to build a luxury hotel on a man-made island created by the visionary royal crown prince. But one wonders whether the seed for such a development was placed there by MGM Mirage’s "crown prince" of gaming.
DROPPING THE BALL IN CALIFORNIA: Horse racing in California hasn’t had enough trouble lately that it is adding to its problems by enforcing one of its questionable rules.
The matter involves two outstanding thoroughbred owners who have brought great credit to racing in California. They are Robert Lewis, whose Charismatic won both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, and Trudy McCaffery, part owner of Silver Charm, also a double Triple Crown winner.
Recently, the two noteworthy contributors to the sport were appointed to the board of directors of the Oak Tree Association, a charitable organization that runs a fall race meeting at Santa Anita. The two also had been serving on the board of directors of the Thoroughbred Owners of California.
And, that’s the no-no. According to a rule of the California Horse Racing Board, horsemen’s organization representatives (TOC) can’t also serve on boards of racing associations. The two sought a waiver but were denied.
So, TOC will lose the assistance and advice of two knowledgeable contributors because the CHRB rule. And they wonder why California racing is declining rapidly.
INDIANS HELPING INDIANS? Within the next couple of months, Full House Resorts Inc. (FHRI), the company formed in the early 90’s by the late entrepreneur Allen Paulson, will be merged into a subsidiary of the Morongo Band of Mission Indians, a casino operator in California.
When the transaction is completed, with Morongo paying Full House stockholders $1.30 a share, the tribe not only will receive the operating contract for the slot operation at the Delaware Fair Grounds in Harrington, Del., but also a contract to build a casino outside Battle Creek, Mich., for the Nottawaseppi Band of Huron Potawatomi Indians.
The Michigan venture, with a partner, RAM Entertainment, a private developing firm, should be a piece of cake for the Morongos. After all, they were the first to enter the gaming business in California; the first to install slot machines at their casino following the passage of Prop. 1A; and they are now building a $250 million Las Vegas-style casino on the Morongo Indian Reservation.
As for the Full House stockholders, well before the merger agreement was developed, the shares were selling between $0.31 and $0.51 each.