On the road again…

Visiting in Antigua with Carib’s William Caesar & SOS’s Bob Eremian

If it’s hot and humid in April, and sports betting is legal, it could be Antigua.

Actually, the tip-off to our location is the smooth-running bookmaking operation we are observing and, surprisingly, the triumvirate of honchos is not griping and moaning.

Yep, we’re at Carib Sports Book hobnobbing with William J. Caesar, who is in especially fine fettle. Business is thriving -including baseball action, which is dealt via a 20-cent line.

Carib puts up overnight lines on sides and totals, and a run line. After that, line moves are dictated by customers’ action.

Carib also handles a full betting menu on sports, including soccer and rugby. Rugby futures are on the way, and will be offered just as soon as Caesar figures out whether the ball is blown up or stuffed up.

The year-to-date hold at Carib on all sports is a healthy 3.52 percent. The book is able to extract an inordinate amount of data from its software.

Caesar notes that the off shore industry has transmogrified from doing post-up business to handling credit card wagering. The cost of this business is 5 percent, and at Carib, 2½ percent is passed along to the bettor.

It gets pretty busy in the bookmaking office, but in the middle of crunch time, Caesar calmly repairs to his monitor, where the incoming action most resembles a high tech, revved-up screensaver. He tells us that a bettor just laid eight dimes to win $1,000 on the Indy Pacers.

Recently, the book posted odds on the U.S. Presidential race. Bush and Gore were listed at short odds, and the field was 500-1.

“We had a player call in a $500 bet on the field,” said Caesar. “We immediately checked CNN for any late-breaking political news … and if we hear of an assassination plot, we have a pretty good idea who might be behind it,” he added.

The software also discloses that the previous day’s hold on baseball was 34 percent; the hold on hockey was a whopping 47 percent. Total win for the day was 27.5 percent. “That’s just one day,” Caesar stressed. “It doesn’t have any significance.”

Caesar is especially proud of how well the sports book is organized. “If I got hit by a truck today … “

” … the truck would be totaled, and Caesar might have a bruise,” interrupted one of his associates.

The banter among Caesar’s staff is colorful, brisk, and not for the fainthearted.

Sports Off Shore.
 Later, we were informed of an invite to Bob Eremian’s house for dinner. Caesar was to accompany us as driver. A key SOS associate, Richard, also joined us.

Sports Off Shore is one of the industry’s most highly regarded bet shops, and a major reason Antigua enjoys a positive reputation.

Bobby’s self-prepared dinners are legendary. His abilities as a chef seriously challenge his attributes as a BM.

Dinner was scrumptious. It began with fresh mushroom soup, followed by whitefish with a spicy tomato sauce, assorted veggies, and copious quantities of an excellent Chardonnay.

Dinner with Bobby and Caesar encompasses more than polite conversation. Eremian is an equal opportunity, world-class provocateur. He and Caesar manage to disagree on virtually every element of bookmaking, as well as many other endeavors common to the human experience.

The byplay between the two friends is always spirited, and frequently involves vigorous disputes over the same stuff of which the Seinfeld show was about.

When the feisty host turned his fire in our direction over a series of issues -the specifics of which we cannot recall due to the amount of wine imbibed – we were delighted. We’d like to say we prevailed in the arguments, but that would be a reach.

For those who bet at SOS, we can pass along this piece of trivia. In an earlier life, Bob was a skilled carpenter who apprenticed with his father.

He achieved local fame for his observation about a building under construction in Antigua that, he asserted, was being done all wrong, and couldn’t be finished. Two months later construction halted, and the boarded up building stands as a testament to Eremian’s prescience.

There were a few moments of peace during dinner … most notably when the two BMs agreed on their mutual disdain for the dime line in baseball.

thedailyspread.com | April 7th, 2000

– – – – – – – – – – – –About the writer
A long time sports betting columnist, Buzz Daly

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