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Bloomberg: Cantor Fitzgerald’s Bid to Become Global Powerhouse of Sports Betting, Online Poker
Bloomberg News on Wednesday published a great read on Lee Amaitis and his goal to turn Cantor Entertainment Technology Inc. into a sports- gambling powerhouse that looks to eventually add online poker to its platform.
Most of us know Cantor as the firm that took the biggest hit during the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the US more than 10 years ago. 658 of its 960 New York-based employees lost their lives that day.
From the Bloomberg piece:
Equipped with technology drawn from Wall Street and a trader’s appetite for risk, Cantor is now charging into sports betting in Las Vegas. The business -- conducted in a section of a casino called a sports book -- is characterized by volatile swings in profit and loss, competitors like the MGM Grand and Caesars Palace and expert gamblers known as wise guys.
“I have friends who run sports books,’’ says Joe D’Amico, owner of All American Sports, a Las Vegas handicapping service. “I got to tell you, none are without stomach problems.’’
While Wall Street firms are no strangers to Vegas -- they have long helped casino developers raise money -- Cantor is the first to explicitly set itself up as a gambling operation. With a $150 million investment, the New York-based bond brokerage has taken control of and retooled seven sports books. They are owned by the Venetian and the Palazzo -- part of Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS) -- and other casinos.
Cantor has also produced wireless tablets so gamblers can bet anywhere in the casino or hotel. Eventually, it wants to start an online poker casino, too.
Amaitis, who brought gambling to Cantor back in 2000, tells Bloomberg his inspiration for a gambling business came about 1996 from watching a Cantor customer in Tokyo play online poker while trading bonds. He pitched the idea to CEO Howard Lutnick.
“I called Howard and said we should think about online gaming,’’ Amaitis says. “I said, ‘Can you imagine if they traded and played poker at the same time. We’d have the whole package.’’’
- Aaron Goldstein, Gambling911.com
Submitted by Aaron Goldstein on Wed, 05/09/2012 - 21:05