Las Vegas’ Circa Resort & Casino will debut the Sports Gambling Hall of Fame on August 11. Located in an enclave within the property’s sportsbook, billed as the largest in the world, it will honor bookmakers and bettors who have “notably transformed the sports gambling industry.”
Billy Walters, Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal and Roxy Roxborough will be amongst 10 of the names inducted into the inaugural 2023 class, which will take place at a special ceremony during professional sports betting networking conference BetBash.
“It’s an honor to have our sportsbook serve as the physical location for the Sports Gambling Hall of Fame,” said Derek Stevens, Circa’s CEO and founder. “At Circa, we are all about recognizing those who have made our city and industry what it is today. We look forward to celebrating these individuals and ensuring that their legacy is cemented.”
This year, the committee will recognize five living inductees, and five will be honored in memoriam, Circa said. The first three announced inductees include:
- Billy Walters: Known for being “the greatest sports bettor of all time.” The Sports Gambling Hall of Fame describes Walters as “commanding respect from every prominent bookmaker in the world” and is known for contributing as a philanthropist to various causes.
- Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal: An American professional sports bettor and former Las Vegas casino executive “known for blending charisma with customer service to casino patrons.” He was portrayed by Robert DeNiro in the popular movie Casino.
- Roxy Roxborough: Preeminent oddsmaker in the 1980s and 1990s who introduced mathematical formulas and computer models to the industry, as well as revolutionized the technology for updating odds to hundreds of sportsbooks, newspapers and media outlets.
Gadoon “Spanky” Kyrollos, founder of the Sports Gambling Hall of Fame and BetBash, said: “It was a no-brainer to ask Derek if the Sports Gambling Hall of Fame could live in the world’s largest sportsbook – it’s truly the most beautiful and best sportsbook in the world.”
“Most of the time, you have a casino and then you build a sportsbook into it,” Kyrollos explained. “But at Circa, the casino was built around the sportsbook. Being a sports bettor, it’s such an incredible thing and we love what Derek has done down here. We look forward to having a permanent venue to recognize these accomplishments in our industry.”
Rules and regulations for the Sports Gambling Hall of Fame have been created and voted on by an advisory board consisting of 16 members, “all of who have spent much of their lives in the sports gambling industry.”
Over the past several months, the board met, discussed and voted on the development of the inaugural class. A 75% approval rating is needed for an individual’s induction to pass. Additional inductees will be announced in the weeks building up to BetBash, Circa stated.