I’ve been around gambling most of my life. My first real exposure to a bookie was when I worked next door to one working at a candy store when I was around 12 or 13. They were serious dudes that scared me. They were also the kinds of guys that made lots of loot – like every bookie I’ve ever met.
Last year I moved to Las Vegas and I’ve been learning about legalized sports betting more and more. Yesterday I learned that there is a company, American Wagering Inc. (AKA Leroy’s) that takes wagers on sports that a) went bankrupt and b) lost $1.8 million in 9 months.
Despite its dominance in Nevada, American Wagering’s balance sheet is anemic by comparison. The company reported a loss of $1.8 million for the nine months ended Oct. 31 and generated revenue of only $14.5 million for the year ended Jan. 31, 2010. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2003 and emerged in 2005, only to see business decline in the recession.
American Wagering is being purchased by a British company, William Hill, so I’m guessing that whatever advantage a bettor might have had is going to go away pretty quickly.
William Hill this month announced an $18 million deal to buy Nevada bookmaking chain American Wagering Inc., which operates Leroy’s sports books and provides the sports betting systems many Nevada casinos use to run their books.
For as long as I’ve been interesting in sports betting I’ve only heard of Leroy’s because they had the first legal sports betting app for mobile phones (not iPhone…boo!).
Still, how can a bookie lose money!? This is unprecedented as far as I know. As the article states, this is a future move for William Hill for when online gambling is legalized in America. For the time being it will be interesting to see how they effect sports betting in Nevada. It should be only for the better.