The usual football frenzy is building here in the Valley of Dollars. The sportsbooks are putting the final touches on their upcoming parlay card offerings and it’s not too soon to sign up for the many contests. Last week Micah Roberts described a number of them in his column. If you missed it you can still check it out on our gamingtoday.com website.
Another sign of football is GamingToday’s annual $100,000 Big Dog Football Contest. As always, the contest is free to enter and weekly selections are made online so it is very convenient to play. We are finalizing the details as we go to press so look for the ad in next week’s issue.
Of course, our most popular football feature – Bookies Battle – will be back for the 38th consecutive year. It pits Nevada’s bookmakers against each other in one of the toughest contests ever. Each week the entrants are required to pick every single NFL game, and must turn in their selections Monday morning to make press deadline. That means they often don’t know the status of players who suffered injuries in the previous week’s games.
We only have a few days to wait until that first gridiron action. On Thursday we’ll be able to watch the Hall of Fame game – Dallas Cowboys vs. Arizona Cardinals – the first live NFL action since the Super Bowl. Then next week the Preseason officially begins when the Panthers and Texans kick off at 4:30 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 9. We can’t wait.
IN THE KNOW: That’s what we want to be when it comes to handicapping the NFL games, as picking the right side is hardest at the beginning of the season. That’s why we like the seminars offered at several of the sportsbooks. They bring together a panel of experts to give us their insight.
One of our favorites is the one held at Sunset Station each year. This year it’s scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 29, from 6 to 7:30 p.m., so mark your calendars. As always, it will be in the Club Madrid and Brian Blessing, host of Sportsbook Radio (1400 AM, KSHP), will be moderating along with Chuck Esposito, Sunset’s director of race and sports.
The panel this year will include the legendary Bruce Marshall of The Gold Sheet, GamingToday's Andy Iskoe, and the knowledgeable and entertaining Bernie Fratto.
RELAX! We intend to do just that. It will be easy as we will head to the JW Mariott next to Rampart Casino in Summerlin (not too far from home) on Aug. 15, National Relaxation Day, and take advantage of the 40 percent discount on 50- and 80-minute spa and salon services at Spa Aquae. If you can’t make it on the 15th, don’t worry, the special pricing is good all month through Sept. 4
A SAD NOTE: We were saddened to learn Lawrence “Larry” Krantz, an old time Las Vegas bookmaker, passed away Friday, July 21, just six days shy of his 90th birthday.
An Omaha, Neb., native, Larry found his way to Las Vegas in 1951 and spent his early career at the Flamingo and Las Vegas Hilton (now the Westgate). But we remember Larry from the Union Plaza (now The Plaza) downtown as the assistant race and sportsbook manager under his brother the late Johnny Quinn. They were two of the nicest guys in the business, took good care of their customers and were always ready to help a friend.
Visitation will be Wednesday, Aug. 9, 1-2 p.m., at Palm Mortuary, 1325 N. Main St., with funeral services immediately following.
ON THE MOVE: Mohegan Sun in Connecticut recently hired John Washko as VP of exhibitions and conventions sales. The casino is currently building an Expo Center and Washko will play a major part in its sales and direction… Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut announced Suzanne Trout is the new chief marketing officer. Part of her duties will include overseeing player development… AGS, a Las Vegas company offering full-service design and manufacture of gaming products to the Native American market, has promoted Andrew Burke to senior vice president of slot products. Congratulations to all.
See you around town.