Jimmy Vaccaro Named To Sports Gambling Hall of Fame

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Jimmy Vaccaro Named To Sports Gambling Hall of Fame
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A longtime Las Vegas oddsmaker and sports betting innovator has been named to the Sports Gambling Hall of Fame.

Jimmy Vaccaro, regarded as a top handicapper for decades, will be inducted into the Hall of Fame’s inaugural class on Aug. 11 at Circa Resort in downtown Las Vegas. The ceremony is set to take place during the BetBash sports betting conference.

To date, eight of the 10 members have been named. The other two are expected to be named soon.

Legendary Las Vegas Handicapper

In a handicapping career spanning more than 40 years, Vaccaro has become a “household name” to those who follow sports betting, according to the Associated Press.

Starting out as a blackjack dealer in the 1970s at the Royal Inn in Las Vegas, Vaccaro later became the property’s first sportsbook manager, the AP noted.

Vaccaro went on to hold top sportsbook positions at Las Vegas casinos such as the Golden Nugget, Mirage, MGM Grand, Barbary Coast (now the Cromwell) and South Point. 

After briefly working a few years ago as director of sports relations for Rivers Casino in his hometown, Pittsburgh, Vaccaro returned to Las Vegas.

Over the years, Vacarro has offered betting advice and analysis on outlets such as ESPN and the Vegas Sports Information Network (VSiN). 

VSiN, now owned by DraftKings Sportsbook, broadcasts from its original studio at the South Point hotel-casino on the southwestern end of the Las Vegas Strip. VSiN also broadcasts from a newer studio at the sportsbook in Circa Resort.

During his career, Vaccaro has been credited with being the first bookmaker to introduce halftime and quarter wagering, according to the Sports Gambling Hall of Fame.

While at the Mirage hotel-casino, Vaccaro created a media splash by being the only Las Vegas handicapper to post odds on the 1990 heavyweight fight between heavily favored Mike Tyson and James “Buster” Douglas, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Douglas won the fight against long odds. 

Mob Associate Among Inductees

Vaccaro joins a Sports Gambling Hall of Fame class that includes Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal. 

A bookmaker originally from Chicago, Rosenthal illegally operated four Argent Corp. casinos in Las Vegas, most notably the Stardust, for Midwestern Mob families. In the 1995 move “Casino,” Robert De Niro portrays a character based on Rosenthal. In 2008, Rosenthal died of natural causes at age 79.

The other inductees who have been named so far are:

  • Charles McNeil 
  • Jack Franzi 
  • Jackie Gaughan
  • Bob Martin
  • Billy Walters
  • Roxy Roxborough

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Larry Henry

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