Sports Book Scene February 26th 2000

10 Cent Baseball Line to become a thing of the past

It’s an unfortunate truism that good things don’t last forever, and it appears that a staple of the off shore sports betting industry is about go the way of the spotted wood owl.

We’re referring to the 10-cent line in baseball, which is dealt by most shops, particularly those that take the largest plays.

Last year, we had an inkling as to what might happen, when a number of highly respected shops said they would take a hard look at whether to offer the dime line next season, but the prevailing sentiment was to kick it to 20 cents.

We checked with Dana Corbo, president of Don Best Sports, and he confirmed that such a movement is underway. In Las Vegas, he noted that the Mirage will go to a graduated scale this year, where the line goes to 15 cents at 1.30, and to 20 cents at another price point.

The off shore sports books are currently trying to get a consensus among themselves in order to make the switchover. “Obviously, if it is done across the board, it would be easier to implement,” said Corbo.

“The genesis for all this,” he explained, “is that the books say they keep losing money during baseball. And even if they change the line to 20 cents, they believe they’ll still lose money, but not as much.”

Many players have vowed they would not play into a 20-cent line, but Corbo suggested it might be tough to pass up playing at those books which take a big hit, and where players know they’ll get paid. “It’s hard to get down the amount that some players need to get down,” Dana noted.

Meanwhile, his role in all this is to facilitate communications among the books. With that in mind, he is going to Costa Rica to set up a meeting among as many books as possible to discuss this issue, and other areas of mutual interest. Tentatively scheduled for March 14, any books that would like to participate should call Dana for more details.

One significant area of discussion will be organizing an off shore sports book association. This would be an excellent method of giving the books a platform to hash out controversial issues, and reach some common grounds of agreement.

Given the respect and credibility that Don Best has among the off shore community, his involvement in such an undertaking virtually guarantees that such an organization will get off to a flying start.

Meanwhile, players should realize that it is unlikely the dime line will become extinct. It will continue to be offered by some books, which seek the business and are not concerned about potential losses. Presumably, with fewer shops making the dime line available, those that do will be able to better operate with the higher volume that will occur. | February 26th, 2000

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

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