Telephone Man

by Ed Meyer

posted on January 14, 2021 in Blogroll, General Discussion, Horse Racing, | Comments Off on Telephone Man

He waits outside for his ride. Dressed like he’s going to the office, and in a sense. He will be. – His office is seven betting parlors in Las Vegas. You may see him at one or more when there is action, and there’s always action. – The car just pulled up, and it’s time to go to work.

For the longest time, our friend has a history of working in the gambling industry. Race tracks, OTB’s, and even a few casinos over the years. Prior to that, he was in the banking industry. That was until the doctor told him to change occupations or the stress would be his end. – He didn’t need to be told twice and sought out a new occupation. One that would fit his interests.

Every morning at 5:30 a.m., a cup of coffee and a morning jog. A lite breakfast and ready to start the day. – During his banking years he met many interesting people. The folks you or I would call to make a wager on the big game. These were not $10 bookmakers, but the ones that had a select clientele. Far from the Vegas tales of intrigue and action, but a job that would be a rather low key quiet way of life.

A lifelong bachelor dedicated to his work. He never made mistakes and would always double-check his numbers. The kind of job that doesn’t get advertised in the papers or the internet. – His condo is about four miles from the strip and always uses an Uber to take him to his rounds. The majority of the time it’s an older gent who moved to Vegas after his wife passed many moons ago and became a cab driver after retiring from the post office. Fred loves his job, and over the years they’ve become friends.

The job is easy by definition but requires the patience of an older man. – He’s the “call-off” man for five big outfits who take wagers. – Where there’s a big wager in the five digits he gets a call. Sometimes to shop around for the best spread, and other times just to make wagers and head home a few hours later. He’s in charge of the money and takes care of betting and cashing. The records are kept at home and his legal occupation allows him a great deal of free time. – “No room for errors when you play at this level, or you could be replaced the next day.” – But his meticulous dedication will have him here as long as he wishes.

Twice a month he’ll have a visitor that will fly out and pick up the money, or give him more for the wagers. Good work if you can find it, but it’s not for everyone. “I make the wagers and keep track of the records. Not hard work by any means, but it keeps me active and happy.”

I don’t bet. Gave that up long ago. Too much stress and I get to see enough action by doing my daily trips.” – On the strip, he is one of the high rollers according to the racebook managers and gets plenty of free comps and respect. – When he walks in there’s no standing in line as the manager takes him aside and writes his wagers.

I like what I’m doing and I have it pretty good. – For a non-gambler, it’s easy work. But if you have the betting bug I’m sure it could get tough. Well, I’ll see you when I’m back in Ohio for the races. It’ll be good to watch the ponies with old friends and catch up.”