Female Stardust cashiers were skilled and honest

Female Stardust cashiers were skilled and honest

August 01, 2017 3:00 AM


Talk about knowing your job. The girls who worked for me in the Stardust racebook cashier windows and back room were unbelievably skilled and honest. What a blessing.

Before computers arrived to do their jobs and paramutuel bookmaking also took the need for skill out of the race business these girls worked flawlessly in a super busy, big money situation.

We booked upward of 60-70 races daily depending on the day of the week. Before post time each race one of the girls went out front to the betting windows, gathered the hand written tickets, took them to the back room and deposited them in the corresponding slot in a many-slotted holding board. This was a position of trust since a past-post ticket could be slipped in. These were live tickets till the results, the mutuels, were announced. They would later be matched with the cashed tickets and bundled to be worked again by the accountants later that night.

When the mutuels were announced the even more amazing cashiers had to hear those results over the din of the racebook and write them down on their worksheets. Win, place, show, exactas, Qs, etc. as the tracks paid them since we booked the track prices. Remember, no pari mutuel yet.

As winning players lined up at our cashier windows the girls figured each ticket by hand, mind and memory using their work sheet as a backup guide, then paid out the correct amount. This was no job for the faint of heart, the timid or rookies. Cashier was the highest paying job in either race or sports, next to supervisors of course.

This was the culmination of behind the scenes work beginning as early as 5 a.m. when the girls in the photo room developed negatives of the entries for every race to be magnified and displayed on the huge odds boards in the racebook.

Those negatives were then given to our ever eccentric collection of boardmen upstairs in the cavernous two-tiered walkways behind the oddsboards. The boardmen placed the negatives on 50 projectors to be seen in the racebook as big black and white, crystal clear rundowns of morning odds, jockeys, track conditions, scratches, etc. Then after a race was run they displayed the mutuels by hand like Fenway Park. Those boards were the best ever and appreciated by our players.

Chuck Di Rocco, founder of this publication, was a big part of this process on the periphery. He disseminated recreations of track calls, then later brought the first live simulcast into Las Vegas. Chuck also produced wall boards for every racebook but the Stardust since we made our own on those huge boards.

Time marches on. Change with it or get out of the way. Take care.