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Las Vegas Profile: Casino MonteLago Sportsbook; Manager Robert Terch
Getting a new sportsbook up and running is never an easy task. With all the competition in the Southern Nevada marketplace and the explosion of offshore gaming, sportsbook managers have to be creative in attracting customers to new establishments. This is the challenge facing Robert Terch, sportsbook manager for the new Casino MonteLago. And it doesn't help that his property is located 17 miles southeast of the Strip at the Lake Las Vegas Resort.
"A lot of people think we are out of the way, but I don't think it's that bad of a drive," said Terch, who managed the book at the old Desert Inn for five years and most recently headed up the book at the Frontier. "Getting people out here, that's the challenge. It's not like it's real convenient for people to come here. We have to be a little more creative and aggressive."
In order to attract business, Terch is offering several specials. On Tuesdays during football MonteLago will offer 14-5 odds on two-team parlays (instead of the traditional 13-5). Vigorish will be lowered to -105 instead of the typical -110 on Wednesdays and Thursdays during the season on all NFL games and a handful of marquee college games. The book will also offer more attractive odds on its ½-point parlay cards. Three-team cards will offer 7-1 payouts, four-team bets will pay 12-1 and five-teamers will score 22-1 on winning tickets. MonteLago will offer four different parlay cards to its patrons.
The sportsbook itself is one of a kind, said Terch. Instead of the typical rows of seats found in most establishments, a sports bar with ten plasma screen TVs flanks the book at MonteLago. The sportsbook is located on the second floor overlooking the casino, providing customers a nice view of the gaming floor. Terch has purchased the NFL package for this season, so all games will be available. The manager hopes to attract residents from Henderson and Green Valley in addition to nearby homeowners and resort guests. "Most of the sportsbooks in Downtown Henderson don't get the package to show all the games, so that makes us really unique out here," he said. "Hopefully, with some of the things we are doing, they will come from a little bit further."
As far as the wiseguys are concerned, Terch said they are more than welcome. Limits for the NFL are $3,000 for sides and $1,000 for totals and college limits are $2,000 for sides and $500 for totals.
MonteLago will gain some extra exposure for its sportsbook as a result of Sunday morning live broadcasts from ESPN Radio. According to Terch, the media outlet sought him out for the opportunity. ESPN has already started giving plugs and Terch has been very happy with the publicity.
Terch, a New Jersey native, moved to Las Vegas in 1989 and soon became involved in the industry as a result of a fateful softball game. During the game, he met Vinny Magliulo and Rich Baccellieri, who worked at the sportsbook at Caesars Palace, and landed a job writing tickets. The rest, as they say, is history.
One of the most attractive aspects of his job, said Terch, is the freedom he gets from management. "It really helps having management that came from a big place like Caesars," he said of the MonteLago management team of Dan Reichartz and Dan Scott, formerly of Caesars. "I know they were both involved a lot in the race and sports book there. They know what it is like to be in a sportsbook. You get some owners or some management who (say) you are not supposed to lose. I have been around a couple places where you win one day and then you win a little bit less the next day and they are calling you up asking why you lost that day. Their mindset is amazing. It's definitely not that way here."
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