On August 11, Las Vegas’ Circa Resort & Casino will debut the Sports Gambling Hall of Fame. Located in an enclave within the world’s largest sportsbook, it will honour bookmakers and bettors who have notably transformed the sports gambling industry. Billy Walters, Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal and Roxy Roxborough will be amongst 10 of the names inducted into the inaugural 2023 class, which will take place at a special ceremony during the professional sports betting networking conference, BetBash.
“It’s an honour to have our sportsbook serve as the physical location for the Sports Gambling Hall of Fame,” said Derek Stevens, Circa’s CEO and founder. “At Circa, we are all about recognizing those who have made our city and industry what it is today. We look forward to celebrating these individuals and ensuring that their legacy is cemented.”
This year, the committee will recognise five living inductees, and five will be honoured in memoriam. The first three announced inductees include:
- Billy Walters – Known for being the greatest sports bettor of all time. He commands respect from every prominent bookmaker in the world and is known for contributing as a philanthropist to various causes;
- Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal – American professional sports bettor and former Las Vegas casino executive known for blending charisma with customer service to casino patrons. He was portrayed by Robert DeNiro in the popular movie, Casino;
- Roxy Roxborough – Preeminent oddsmaker in the 1980s and 1990s who introduced mathematical formulas and computer models to the industry, as well as revolutionized the technology for updating odds to hundreds of sports books, newspapers and media outlets.
Additional inductees will be announced in the weeks building up to BetBash.
Gadoon “Spanky” Kyrollos, founder of the Sports Gambling Hall of Fame and BetBash, said: “It was a no-brainer to ask Derek if the Sports Gambling Hall of Fame could live in the world’s largest sportsbook – it’s truly the most beautiful and best sportsbook in the world. Most of the time, you have a casino and then you build a sportsbook into it. But at Circa, the casino was built around the sportsbook. Being a sports bettor, it’s such an incredible thing and we love what Derek has done down here. We look forward to having a permanent venue to recognise these accomplishments in our industry.”
Rules and regulations for the Sports Gambling Hall of Fame have been created and voted on by an advisory board consisting of 16 members, all of who have spent much of their lives in the sports gambling industry. Over a rigorous course of the past several months, the board met, discussed and voted on the development of the inaugural class. A 75 percent approval rating is needed for an individual’s induction to pass.
Circa’s sportsbook rises three stories high and features a massive, 78-million-pixel, high-definition screen and is operated by Derek Stevens’ sports betting brand, Circa Sports. The book houses seating areas equipped with power outlets and Wi-Fi, as well as food and beverage options and a variety of seating options, from luxury booths to comfortable recliners.
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