You’ll never look at the ‘art’ of oddsmaking the same way again

By Colin Kelly of Covers
In the classic comedy Airplane, there’s a scene when all the reporters covering the unfolding drama run to a bank of phones to call in the latest news, causing the entire bank to fall over. Back in the 1980’s at the Stardust sportsbook, a similar scene would unfold when the opening lines went up – with the people involved only slightly less reputable than reporters.“You had the same degenerates that hung around in the sportsbook every day,” said Scott Kaminsky, who was Roxy Roxborough’s first employee back in 1983. “They hung around and bullshitted.”

At that time, the Stardust was the center of the sports betting universe. Opening lines and line movements were the news of the day, and like those reporters, there were plenty of people on hand awaiting those numbers. Many of those people were paid to be there, including a heavyset gentleman who reported back to Roxborough.

When the lines went up, the chaos began.

“Right outside the Stardust, they had a bank of telephones,” Kaminsky said. “Once the numbers went up, it was a race to write those numbers down and run to the phone. There were more people than there were phones.

“Being as our guy probably weighed 320 pounds, I’m guessing he wasn’t first too many times.”

The point here is that the Stardust line influenced the line at all the other sportsbooks.



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