This story is part of a Sports Handle miniseries looking at sports bettors across the country: Regular Joes who bet recreationally or semi-recreationally, most of them in the black market at some point. Some have families, and jobs in accounting, law, journalism and other fields. Some of our subjects asked to remain anonymous. Previous stories: Part I with the NYC attorney here, Part II with the D.C. healthcare professional here, Part III with a 42-year-old NJ entrepreneur here.
Meet Larry: A retiree who last worked in HR for the Discovery Children’s Museum in Las Vegas, Larry Slane, is the proud papa of former American Gaming Association Vice President of Public Affairs, Sara Slane. Larry moved to Las Vegas about 10 years and started sports betting before his oldest daughter began working in the sector. Slane, 67, currently lives with his wife and 12-year-old dog Lucy, and among his other hobbies are reading, exercising and going to the movies.
How long have you been actively sports betting? 10 years, since I moved to Las Vegas.
How much do you bet and how often? Depends on the season, right now I don’t bet at all. Between football and all the way to March Madness, I’ll probably bet once a week, and I probably bet $400-$500 a month.
What are your favorite sport(s) to bet on? College football, college basketball, pro football, hockey. In that order.
What is your favorite sport and/or team? Do you bet on it often or stay away from it? Ohio State football, and I’m very emotionally involved. I do bet on it, but it doesn’t matter I always bet the same, Ohio State and the over.
Where do you make your bets (mobile app/computer/at a sportsbook)? Sportsbook only. I’m real old-fashioned, I like to go to the sportsbook, and I like the Sun Coast Casino in Summerlin.
How do you handicap games? That’s a good question. I read a little, watch a little on TV with analysts, but a lot of times it’s gut reaction. I play to break even, so anything above that, I feel lucky.
What was your biggest sports betting win and biggest loss? $2,400 on one bet was probably the best I ever did, and $500 I lost on one bet. The $2,400 was on a four-way parlay on Ohio State, Michigan, and the over, and also combined, I think it was Notre Dame and I can’t remember who they played, so I took them to win and the over. It’s fun to bet, so I’m not betting as an avenue for a revenue stream. The big loss was Ohio State losing to Clemson last year.
(Editor’s note: Clemson shut out Ohio State, 31-0, in a College Football Playoff semifinal at the Fiesta Bowl on New Year’s Eve 2018.)
If you live in a state that now has legal sports betting, how has that changed your interests? In Ohio, the answer was no. I didn’t bet right away when I moved to Las Vegas. But I met another guy from Ohio and he was into betting. He was going to Sun Coast to place a bet and asked me if he wanted me to place a bet on, of all things of NASCAR. I know nothing about that. I lost.
In the past, have you used an offshore sportsbook or local bookie? Once, and it was on an Ohio State game and we were in an airport and I had to make that bet, and so I couldn’t get to a sportsbook, so my buddy had a friend and he was offshore, so I did it that way.
What do you make of the expansion of sports betting in the U.S. and recent developments, such as FOX Sports working on its own sportsbook? I’m all for it. I want it all wide open, I think the more open, the more legal it gets, the better is for everyone.
Do you dabble in casino games, lottery, other forms ? If so, how often? Lotto, once in a while. I don’t like any other games besides sports betting. And I’m petrified about using a mobile app, that would be too enticing.
Do you or have you in the past participated in daily fantasy sports? No. I don’t like it, it’s too much work and it takes up too much time, and when people talk me about it at parties, I get bored.
Anything you’d like to add? The mobile aspect really makes me nervous, and I’m not that involved in gambling, but I can see how that would get you hooked. But the convenience is very unique.