‘Juice’ Bet Creator Added To Sports Gambling Hall of Fame, Joining Las Vegas Mobster, Others

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‘Juice’ Bet Creator Added To Sports Gambling Hall of Fame, Joining Las Vegas Mobster, Others
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A Kentucky bookmaker credited with developing the $11-for-$10 “juice” wager that revolutionized sports betting is the first 2024 inductee into the Sports Gambling Hall of Fame.

Ed Curd, who died in 2002 at age 94, will be inducted formally on Aug. 9 at Circa Resort and Casino in downtown Las Vegas during a ceremony at the Bet Bash event. The other 2024 inductees have not been named but are expected to be unveiled soon.

Curd Operated Kentucky Bookie Operation

According to the Las Vegas Sun, Curd, “a horse player, bookie and big-time gambler,” is one of three bookmakers in the mid-1930s who invented the point spread. The other two were Billy Hecht and Charles McNeil. Last year, McNeil was inducted into the inaugural Hall of Fame class, also held at Circa Resort and Casino.

in 1941, Curd devised the system in which bettors wager $11 to win $10, which is still in use at sportsbooks.

“The book keeps the $1 from the losing bettors, which is called the vigorish, or ‘juice,’” the Sun wrote in its May 2002 obituary on Curd. “This resulted in increased participation in gambling, creating a tremendous interest in sporting events far beyond fan support. So much so, newspapers started printing point spreads to satisfy reader demand, and still do.”

During the 1940s, Curd ran the Mayfair Bar in Lexington, Kentucky, “where an upstairs phone room took bets from all over the country,” the Sun reported.

Curd eventually "got into trouble” over tax issues and sold his Kentucky farm in 1952 to settle the tax debt, according to the Sun.

The newspaper noted that Curd was friends with Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder, an oddsmaker “whose syndicated betting column began in the Las Vegas Sun,” and the Kentucky Wildcats’ longtime basketball coach, Adolph Rupp.

“Lefty” Rosenthal Ran Las Vegas Mob Casinos

The inaugural Sports Gambling Hall of Fame inductees in 2023 included Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal, a Chicago oddsmaker who operated four casinos in the Las Vegas Valley, most notably the Stardust, for Midwestern crime families. In 2021, Resorts World Las Vegas first opened on the Strip where the now-demolished Stardust once stood.

The Robert De Niro character in the 1995 Las Vegas Mob movie “Casino” was based on Rosenthal, with Sharon Stone portraying Rosenthal's wife, Geri.

2023 Inaugural Class

The following people were inducted into the 2023 inaugural Sports Gambling Hall of Fame class last August at Circa Resort and Casino.

  • Charles McNeil
  • Billy Baxter
  • Jack Franzi
  • Jackie Gaughan
  • Bob Martin
  • Frank Rosenthal
  • Roxy Roxborough
  • Scotty Schettler
  • Jimmy Vaccaro
  • Billy Walters

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Larry Henry

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