Posted on: August 11, 2023, 02:13h. Last updated on: August 11, 2023, 02:13h.
The Sports Gambling Hall of Fame is set to honor its first inductees tonight at the Circa Resort and Casino in downtown Las Vegas. One of the honorees, Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal, would not have been able to attend the ceremony due to a lifetime ban from entering Nevada casinos. Rosenthal, the inspiration for Robert De Niro’s character in the film Casino, was a mob associate involved in illegal gambling operations. Despite his ban being challenged and temporarily lifted in 1990, it was reinstated by the Nevada Supreme Court in 1991. Rosenthal passed away in 2008 from a heart attack, while operating a sports betting website in Miami.
Rosenthal’s induction into the Sports Gambling Hall of Fame is based on his contribution as the first person to establish a race and sportsbook within a Las Vegas Strip casino. However, some argue against his inclusion due to his associations with the mafia and his unlicensed management of several Las Vegas casinos, including the Stardust.
In addition to Rosenthal, nine other individuals will be honored by the Sports Gambling Hall of Fame. Billy Baxter, a renowned poker player and sports bettor, will be recognized for his achievements in the World Series of Poker and his involvement in illegal gambling activities. Jack Franzi, an influential oddsmaker and advisor to Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder, will also be inducted.
Jackie Gaughan, known for owning the El Cortez and pioneering the first race and sportsbook within a casino, will be honored posthumously. Bob Martin, considered America’s top oddsmaker during the ’60s-’80s, will be recognized for his contributions at Churchill Downs Sports Book and the Union Plaza sportsbook. Charles McNeil, credited with popularizing the point spread and working as Frank Costello’s personal bookie, will also be inducted.
Michael “Roxy” Roxborough, a prominent oddsmaker and founder of Las Vegas Sports Consultants, will join the Hall of Fame. Scott Schettler, known for his unique approach to bookmaking and founding a lottery at the Stardust, as well as Jimmy Vaccaro, a well-known bookmaker with involvement in top sportsbooks, will be honored as well.
Lastly, Billy Walters, one of the most successful sports bettors of all time, known for his use of computer analysis and involvement with the Computer Group, will be inducted. Despite his success, Walters’ career was overshadowed by a conviction for insider trading in 2017.
Overall, the Sports Gambling Hall of Fame’s inaugural induction ceremony promises to be an exciting event, commemorating the achievements and contributions of these respected figures in the sports betting industry.