Behind The Times

The Con

In 1997, the Old Man called me a few days before the Super Bowl and offered to lay a $20 bet for me on the New England Patriots. There was no way I could lose, he explained. If the Patriots lost, I wouldn’t owe the Old Man a dime. And if they won, I’d be up $200.

I, however, wanted to put the 20 on the Green Bay Packers. They had torched the league that year and I was convinced Super Bowl XXXI would end in a massive Packers rout. “Kid, I’m getting you 14 ½ points. You’re taking the Patriots,” he told me. A half point can mean quite a lot in the grand scheme of a football bet. I decided this was one time to keep my mouth shut and do what I was told.

An hour later, the Old Man called me from his North Scottsdale home. “I called the bookie in Caesar’s. You’re locked in on the Patriots at 14 ½.” The Packers won the game 35-21 and I was $200 richer. I marveled at how Lefty Rosenthal’s innovations in Las Vegas gambling, as chronicled by Scorsese in his 1995 film Casino, (he moved the legal Sport’s books into the casinos) were accessible to anyone with a telephone.

It means and the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Vegas have missed the memo on that bit of gambling information.

It’s coming. You can feel it. The biggest football game of the year—and the business opportunities, shall we say, it provides.

To take full advantage, you’ll need a damn good sportsbook. One that’s fully wired. Plenty of flat-screens. And, if possible, fully portable…

Introducing the Cantor Race & Sports Book at the Hard Rock Hotel, the first sportsbook in Vegas to let you place bets from almost anywhere on hotel property, open now.

It’s a cathedral-sized sportsbook reimagined as a Wall Street trading floor. So you’ve got a wall of flat-screens fortified by over 70 betting terminals, each updated with the latest lines and prop bets. So if you have a last-minute premonition of an Aaron Rodgers sack, you can lay it down in a matter of seconds instead of bothering with niceties like betting slips, lines or putting down your mai tai.

And on Sunday, when you feel compelled to explore the massive Super Bowl party at The Joint next door, you can pick up an iPad-sized tablet or a phone-sized handheld device that will let you conduct the action from anywhere in the hotel. By the end of the month, most of the grounds should be wired.

Your dream of a jacuzzi-based gambling empire is finally within reach.

And here I thought a “Jacuzzi-based gambling empire” had been within my reach since I got my first cell phone back in 2000. In another 11 years, The Hard Rock might have a gambling app for the once hot smart phone segment of the communications industry.

If the mob were still running Vegas, they’d have done this 6 years ago and would have launched a loan shark app for the iPhone a few months later. You’d probably be able to choose which enforcer visits you on what day. When Corporate American is this far behind the times in turning a profit, it’s no wonder the economy’s in the shitter.

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