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The First 10 Members Inducted Into Circa’s Sports Gambling Hall Of Fame

Written By Marc Meltzer | Updated:
TV screens show sports and betting odds at the Circa Resort & Casino sportsbook with sports gambling hall of fame and Circa Sports logo

As previously reported, the new Sports Gambling Hall Of Fame inducted its first class on Aug. 11 at Circa Resort & Casino in downtown Las Vegas. The first 10 members include bookmakers and bettors that have changed the sports gambling industry.

The new Sports Gambling Hall Of Fame is located inside the world’s largest sportsbook at Circa. Each member that was inducted last week received a plaque featuring their name, induction class year, and biography.

This display is open for all to peruse when visiting the casino. When discussing the Hall of Fame earlier this year Derek Stevens, Circa’s CEO and founder, said:

“It’s an honor to have our sportsbook serve as the physical location for the Sports Gambling Hall of Fame. 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.”

Many honorees were on hand to celebrate the occasion. The inductees that have passed away had family members represent their inclusion.

The inaugural Sports Gambling Hall Of Fame members

The first class of the Sports Gambling Hall Of Fame includes several familiar names to sports bettors. Each person in this class received at least 75% approval from the 16-member voting committee.

All living members will be added to the board for future voting. Next year there will be 21 members of the committee. Any new members of the Sports Gambling Hall Of Fame will need 16 votes to join the following members.

Billy Walters

He’s considered the greatest sports bettor of all time. More recently Walters has been known for this philanthropic work. His biography, Billy Walters — “the greatest and most controversial sports gambler ever” will be released on Aug. 22.

Jackie Gaughan

Jackie created the first-ever sportsbook inside a casino at the Union Plaza (now known as Plaza). Gaughan owned and operated eight Las Vegas casinos including El Cortez. His son Michael owns South Point and the company that operates the slot machines at Harry Reid International Airport.

Jimmy Vaccaro

Jimmy was the first bookmaker to offer halftime and quarter wagering. Vaccaro helped accelerate the expansion of sports betting in Nevada when the Barbary Coast opened in 1979. He currently works at South Point.

Roxy Roxborough

Roxy is a notable oddsmaker in the 1980s and 1990s.  Roxborough introduced mathematical formulas and computer models in the industry. Beyond the industry itself, he created technology that updated odds for hundreds of sports books, newspapers, and media outlets.

Billy Baxter

Billy helped make halftime betting as popular as it is known today. He’s also known for being in the Poker Hall Of Fame.

Jack Franzi

Jack made a name for himself on both sides of the sports betting counter. He was a successful sports bettor as well as one of the most influential oddsmakers in Las Vegas history. Franzi was the oddsmaker at Michael Gaughan’s Barbary Coast and Gold Coast from 1979 to 1997.

Bob Martin

Another game-changing oddsmaker, Martin was the first to offer the “half-point line.” This creation reduced the number of ties on wagers. It’s a staple of football and basketball betting today.

Scotty Schettler

One of the most respected bookmakers that used to work at the influential Stardust sportsbook

Charles McNeil and Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal

These two round out the 10 members of the first class inducted into the Sports Gambling Hall Of Fame.

Photo by John Locher / AP Photo; illustrated by PlayUSA
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Marc Meltzer

Marc grew up on the mean streets of the South Bronx. He's the rare combination of Yankees and Jets fan which explains his often contrarian point of view. Marc is a freelance writer and social media consultant. Writing about steak, booze, gambling and Las Vegas is a tough job but somebody has to do it.

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