Sports Gambling Hall Of Fame - First Five Inductees Announced

Written by:
Gilbert Horowitz
Published on:

Recognizing individuals who have had a material impact on the Sports Gambling Business in a similar fashion to that of the Poker Hall of Fame, the induction ceremony will take place this summer at Bet Bash at the Circa Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.  We will get to the first five names, with the other five to be revealed at Bet Bash, in a moment.

First here is some criteria for the selection process.

The Sports Gambling Hall of Fame is set up to recognize and honor those individuals who have notably transformed the sports gambling industry.

The initial Advisory Board for the Sports Gambling Hall of Fame (SGHOF) will be assembled from a group of respected individuals with experience, history, and respect within the sports gambling community.


Any newly inducted living hall of famer will be voted on to join the Advisory Board1. Furthermore, each Advisory Board member who has served on the board for at least one year may nominate one person annually to join the advisory board. A vote on Advisory Board membership will require a 75% approval rating to pass.

Membership to the SGHOF is available to bettors, bookmakers, oddsmakers, and other individuals who have had a material impact on the development of the betting and bookmaking industries.  Nominees must have at least 15 years experience in the sports betting industry with a primary focus on the North American market. 

We're not sure how this one is going to go over but, the living nominee may not have been convicted of a gambling related crime in the past 10 years.

Billy Walters is among the obvious first nominees but he just served a prison sentence, not for gambling, but for insider trading, a case involving golfer Phil Mickelson.  It's fair to say that, had the conviction been for sports betting, most folks would balk at the idea of a prison sentence getting in the way of his induction. Walters is widely viewed as the "greatest sports bettor of all time".

Walters is also recognized for several philanthropic causes throughout the great state of Nevada.

Next on this list is the great Roxy Roxborough.  He's noted as being the preeminent oddsmaker during the 1980s and 1990s.  He also introduced mathematical formulas and computer models to the industry.

Third we have the late great Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal.  He was portrayed in the film classic "Casino" by none other than Robert DeNiro.

Rosenthal was an American professional sports bettor, former Las Vegas casino executive, and organized crime associate.

He had once been referred to in Sports Illustrated as "the greatest living expert on sports gambling".

Next up, the late Bob Martin.   He was known as the USA's premier linesmaker for decades.  Robert Mann of Sports Handle writes of Martin:

"Every major bookmaker had a representative in Las Vegas to get Martin’s line. His opinion was the gold standard and without it, no bookie could operate."

Martin was convicted in 1982 for violating interstate gambling laws, and was sentenced to 13 months in prison.

“Bob Martin taught all the younger guys in the business back then, such as myself, that a good bookie has to see the entire picture,” semi-retired Las Vegas sportsbook director Richard Saber explained to Sports Handle. “He would say there’s always guys out there who know more than you. You have to know what they think, too. Martin’s advantage is that he knew everybody from all over the country including every big bettor and every big bookmaker. He knew what number would attract two-way action.”

And, finally, there is Jackie Gaughan.  He is credited with being the first person to open the first ever sportsbook inside of a casino.  That would be at the Union Plaza.

- Gilbert Horowitz,

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