Latest posts by David E. Ramsey (see all)
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Growing up, I had never really known that. I felt that it indicated that our industry does everything we can to protect the integrity of the game.”
A veteran bookmaker of four decades, Manteris is the dean of Las Vegas sports book directors. Manteris was on his game.
“He was so gracious with his time, despite being so busy. More money was being bet on Sun Devils games than normal, lopsided amounts against ASU that caused the point spread to move erratically.
After it happened twice, leading up to a Jan. “But that’s not the real reason. 1 Pete Sampras and No. In 2014, more money was bet on sports at the state’s regulated sports books than any other year, according to Gaming Control. But, in April, as he looked over his desk at the Red Rock, it was clear what the silver-haired Manteris wanted to discuss: his passion for the legal sports betting industry, its past and its future in the U.S.
“Art Manteris has won more money for Nevada sportsbooks than anyone ever.” — Roxy Roxborough, iconic Nevada oddsmaker
For believers in the bottom line, that would mean Manteris is the greatest bookmaker ever. He’d need to meet the parents.
Sue Tripathi had arrived in Las Vegas in the mid-1980s. The books also won more money than any other year, bolstered by a record $19.6 million win on Super Bowl XLVIII between the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos. We wanted to see who was betting it.”
With Manteris’ assistance, the Nevada Gaming Control Board uncovered one of the most notorious point-shaving scandals in the history of America sports. That kind of talk never entered into our home.”
Art Manteris’ passion and knowledge of the industry eventually won over his in-laws. The Hilton sports book director glanced up at the TV and knew exactly how this chat was going to go down. Manteris factored the injury into the odds, made him a 1-2 favorite and attracted a big bet — $200,000 on Sampras — from a very high-end player.
The six-figure wager had caught the boss’ attention. It was the boss, and he was unhappy.
“Who’s the genius who made Sampras minus-two-dollars over Rafter?” Arthur Goldberg, the boss, chirped sarcastically.
Art Manteris was that genius. That time, when Manteris picked up, it was an official from the Pac-10 conference. A Pittsburgh native, he left home for Sin City during his college years. The Sun Devils went from 11-point favorites to 3.
“By the third game, we were lying in wait at that point,” Manteris recalled. The result was the Professional Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, a federal statute that has prevented the expansion of sports betting in the U.S.
“It’s the biggest blunder in the history of racing,” Manteris said. “They had no idea that there was a legitimate side of gambling, legalized gaming in Nevada. A handful of illegal bookmakers from outside of Nevada were indicted on sports bribery charges.
The ASU scandal remains a reminder of the dangers of sports betting. He notified Nevada Gaming Control and subsequently the NCAA. Sampras, with a gimpy leg, was not 100 percent. In 1989, a young newscaster, on one of her first assignments in town, popped into the Hilton for an interview on Super Bowl Sunday, the busiest day of the year. Very nice,” recalled Sue Manteris, Art’s wife of 20 years, who jumpstarted her path to becoming an anchor on the Vegas NBC affiliate with that Super Bowl Sunday interview.
Art Manteris played it cool, took his time before reaching back out to Sue for a date. They’re not fans of his. Open match between No. The track had even begun construction of an on-site sports book, when the tone of the discussions changed suddenly.
Horse racing powers-that-be got involved, teamed with the professional sports leagues and adamantly opposed sports gambling. overall. Rafter wins in five sets.”
Four years earlier, in March 1994, the Hilton sports book office phone had rung. She was an aspiring television journalist of Asian Indian heritage, whose career stops included Billings, Montana, and Casper, Wyoming, where gaming means “hunting.”
“When I first told my parents that I was going to be marrying this guy, they were like ‘What? He’s a gambler. On an early September 1998 evening in Las Vegas, the phone was ringing in the back of the sports book at the Hilton. I think everybody knows that.”
Will the NFL relent on its opposition to legal sports betting before he retires? Manteris doesn’t know, but he’s watching closely and preparing to be a part of the discussion, before calling it a career.
Looking back, memories and lessons learned at one of his first gigs in town still resonate. He was concerned. You’re going to marry a gambler?’” Sue Manteris recalled. The two influential Nevada figures travelled around, meeting with officials at race tracks like Laurel Park and Churchill Downs. “Would they have turned the corner? Would they have exposed their product to whole other generation of new customers? Would sports and race gambling thrive, co-exist nicely like they do day in Nevada? I think they would.”
‘You’re going to marry a gambler?’
It’s a true Vegas love story. Manteris knows it and smirks, when asked if the best bookmakers are supposed to be liked by the sharpest bettors. Manteris would go onto become one of the youngest sportsbook directors in town, when he took over at prestigious Caesars Palace in the mid-1980s. Rafter has no chance,” Goldberg said. He doesn’t buy the league’s “integrity of the game” argument, emphasizing that a regulated sports betting market is really the best way to protect the game’s integrity. The bizarreness of the atmosphere and the characters who ran the book stoked Manteris’ fascination with the industry.
“I learned lessons at the Stardust that I still use today,” he said. But he also looks back to a decision by the horse racing industry that could have changed everything.
The biggest blunder in gambling history
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