Retiring bookmaker Art Manteris: ‘I fell in love with this business’

Earlier than Art Manteris took label of multiple Las Vegas sportsbooks in a profession that spanned six decades, he took prices from ragged NBA gamers Spencer Haywood and Mychal Thompson.

Manteris, who retired this month from his longtime build as Location Casinos sportsbooks vp, was once a stunt double for actor Jack Kehoe in the 1979 film “The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh,” which starred basketball story Julius “Dr. J” Erving.

A Pittsburgh native who landed the stuntman job thru legendary sports marketing executive Sonny Vaccaro — older brother of South Point oddsmaker Jimmy Vaccaro — Manteris first and fundamental build deliberate to pursue a film profession.

“After I came out here to UNLV, it was once with the intent of rapidly ending college after which going on to Hollywood,” acknowledged Manteris, 64. “I did rapidly enact college. But I purchased sidetracked because I fell in relish with this industry.”

As a student at UNLV in the tiring 1970s, Manteris labored at the Stardust sportsbook, where his first job was once altering the probabilities on the fashioned handbook odds boards.

“It was once the same to Fenway Park or Wrigley Field,” he acknowledged.

The Stardust was once in its heyday, no longer lengthy after Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal ran it for the mob.

“I came in upright after he left,” Manteris acknowledged. “But his folks luxuriate in been peaceable there.”

Rosenthal was once portrayed by Robert De Niro in the Martin Scorcese film “On line casino,” and Joe Pesci performed the position of mob enforcer Tony Spilotro.

“From being round in the in the intervening time, I believed Joe Pesci’s portrayal of the Tony Spilotro persona was once remarkably genuine,” Manteris acknowledged. “Have faith in looking to tackle him as a sportsbook supervisor or casino executive.”

Or as a young discover writer, which Manteris was once at the Barbary Hover when a member of Spilotro’s crew shorted him $1,100.

“It was once my fault. I gave him a series of bets and miscounted whereas tabulating the total off the discontinue of my head,” he acknowledged. “I was once 11-hundred greenbacks fast at the smash of the night, and I was once panicking. I was once a toddler in my early 20s.”

Vaccaro to rescue

Manteris referred to as Jimmy Vaccaro, who ran the Barbary Hover book, to label his dilemma.

“He understood what took build and who I was once going thru,” Manteris acknowledged. “He told me to prevent my bank and switch it in and don’t distress about it. I came to discover that Jimmy lined that shortage out of his luxuriate in pocket.

“No longer entirely did he attach me from going in loads of distress or shedding my job, however he proved to me who the upright guys luxuriate in been. That had a gigantic impression on an impressionable young kid and helped form the relief of my profession.

“These luxuriate in been precious lessons in helping your team and defending your team.”

Cash Manteris

Manteris went on to change into indubitably one of many city’s youngest sportsbook directors at Caesars Palace and vp of the Las Vegas Hilton sportsbook, now the Westgate, sooner than shifting to Location Casinos in 2001. He was once inducted into the SBC Sports activities Making a guess Hall of Fame in 2019.

“Art won additional money for the voice of Nevada and for his employers than any diversified bookmaker in voice ancient past,” longtime Las Vegas oddsmaker Michael “Roxy” Roxborough acknowledged.

Nicely-organized prop

At Caesars in 1986, Manteris helped gas the Nicely-organized Bowl prop guess craze by posting odds on William “The Fridge” Perry to rating a touchdown in Nicely-organized Bowl XX.

Bettors pounded the prop and buried the books when the Chicago Bears defensive lineman scored in Chicago’s 46-10 blowout of the Contemporary England Patriots.

Sunset Location sportsbook director Chuck Esposito was once a 21-Twelve months-fashioned discover writer at Caesars at the time and pitched the wildly neatly-liked prop to Manteris.

“As money poured in on (Perry) to rating a touchdown, I saved assuring him it wasn’t going to occur,” Esposito acknowledged. “Needless to advise, we did lose somewhat loads on that prop, and fortunately, I peaceable had a profession the next day.

“I’ve been extremely lucky to luxuriate in Art motivate recordsdata my profession. He’s been a gigantic mentor and buddy.”

Following Jimmy Vaccaro’s lead, Manteris looked past the non eternal loss.

“That prop backfired financially, however it indubitably done so considerable publicity,” he acknowledged. “It truly modified the alternate.”


Later that Twelve months, Manteris helped win and commence the first trendy, theater-style sportsbook at the Hilton SuperBook.

“We desired to operate it a aspect of the Las Vegas Hilton vacation position, which was once a gigantic conference heart in the in the intervening time,” he acknowledged. “What we came all over was once a top class roam and sportsbook no longer entirely modified into a earnings and pleasure heart for the property, however it indubitably also ended in elevated earnings for beverage and casino and slots and very perfect modified into a assist to your total property.”

In 1988, Manteris launched the SuperContest, a prestigious high-smash NFL handicapping contest that produced a file 3,328 entries and $1.47 million first prize in 2019.

It was once inspired by a the same contest walk by tiring Las Vegas bookmaker Sonny Reizner at the fashioned Castaways Hole-in-The-Wall Sportsbook.

“I did just like the layout and publicity that slight sportsbook purchased from the contest,” Manteris acknowledged. “After they closed, there was once a likelihood.”

Manteris also was once credited with the approach of the voice’s first computer networking of roam and sportsbooks in the tiring 1980s that enabled him to supervise the action the least bit 14 Location books from his office at Pink Rock Resort.

He helped the Nevada Gaming Administration Board and NCAA show the 1994 Arizona Voice college basketball level-shaving scandal and is proud to luxuriate in helped lay the root for the nationwide spread of genuine, regulated sports having a guess.

“Myself and diversified Nevada bookmakers luxuriate in labored lengthy and bright over time to be particular the integrity of the video games,” he acknowledged.

Compose line

As considerable as he cherished being a bookmaker, Manteris acknowledged being on the hook for tens of millions of greenbacks on daily basis has its mavens and cons, particularly for a family man. He’s been married to ragged KTNV-3 recordsdata anchor Sue Manteris for 26 years, and additionally they’ve three teens.

“The highs and lows are so intense, it does distract from what most folk luxuriate in in mind fashioned human family,” he acknowledged. “It’s bright to return home for dinner and revel in an amazing, civil conversation with your loved ones whereas in the aid of your mind you’re sweating a huge determination.”

Manteris will turn 65 in June, and he acknowledged that was once continually his purpose enact line. He spent 43 years in the alternate.

He will remain a e book to Location, where he can be replaced as vp by Pink Rock sportsbook director Jason McCormick.

“I was once so blessed to luxuriate in this kind of huge team round me,” Manteris acknowledged. “It’s time for the guys to walk the ball and for one person to set his family and his neatly being.”

Contact reporter Todd Dewey at [email protected] Phrase @tdewey33 on Twitter.