Vegas history starting to become just that -- history
June 06, 2017 3:00 AM
by Scott Schettler
It won’t be long, really only a couple decades from now, and there won’t be anyone left who remembers Lefty Rosenthal and the Stardust, Harry Gordon’s Churchill Downs, the great Bob Martin and Gene Mayday’s Little Caesars which wasn’t so little when taking bets.
Sammy Cohen and his Santa Anita Race & Sportsbook is already forgotten as is Al Mangarelli and The Rose Bowl, which would later be owned by the infamous Gary Austin.
Very few even now remember Jimmy “The Greek” and his early 60s Hollywood book or the other downtown store front joints like the Derby, Saratoga (later called Leroy’s) or Bill Dark and his Del Mar out in North Las Vegas. Those days of numbers shopping from book to book are no longer necessary. Finding a good number was like getting what you wanted for Christmas.
The Westgate will still be around as will Caesars, The MGM, Bally’s, Mirage and so on. They might be booking UFC fights between robots or become eSports arenas with racing and sports becoming a sideline of proposition bets.
What won’t be around or remembered is the Rivera, The Sport of Kings or The Hole in the Wall Sportsbook in The Castaways. Hand held parlay cards don’t have a prayer.
Gone from memory will be FM and Hershy and The Burger Hut along with Wednesday Nite Fights upstairs in The Silver Slipper; Chuck Di Rocco and Sports Form simulcasting company (not to be confused with the former name of this publication) that brought Las Vegas the first ever live horse racing simulcast, the J.K. Sports Schedule, Ken Swanson with his wall race boards and race disseminating company. Up North the Reno Turf Club, Carson Victory Club and Artichoke Joe’s will be long forgotten.
Sports betting will evolve and morph into whatever the market and circumstances in the country dictate. We can’t halt advancement or the march of time. Those joints and the characters who haunt them are history. One room school houses and widget factories are gone just as the bookie joints and current betting rules will also disappear. Time marches on so we have to get with the times or get out of the way. Take care