Terrible times in Vegas

Terrible’s is, well, a terrible name for a casino, but it’s a great hangout for locals where you can still buy a full rib dinner, with salad, baked potato, veggies, and drinks, for seven bucks and change.

Tucked away in East Flamingo, a mile or so from palatial Strip resorts like Bally’s, Caesars Palace and Bellagio, Terrible’s was formerly known as the Continental, a decrepit and run-down hotel-casino patronized primarily by vegans who flocked to high early morning hours. to drink in entertainment offerings from the hit act Cookie Jarr and the Crumbs.

“Unpleasant looking” was the word most often used to describe it.

The property was purchased several years ago by Jerry Herbst, a member of a Sin City dynastic family, and completely remodeled.

Its newly built and always packed parking lot, buffet lines for snacks ($5.95 for a great breakfast, compared to at least three times as much elsewhere), and spring and summer pool parties are testament to the growing popularity of the renewed resort.

Terrible’s now serves as the hub or headquarters for Herbst’s gaming businesses, consisting primarily of a chain of gas stations with video poker and slot machines, though one-armed bandits have set up shop at other outlets, such as supermarkets and convenience stores.

The place was packed for the first four days of March Madness last week, especially when UNLV played.

Every seat in his small but well-appointed sports book, carved out of a corner on the north side of the ground floor, was full.

The late bookie Sonny Reizner, best known for turning the old Castaways into an internationally renowned establishment, would probably call it another “hole in the wall” book.

Detroit native Doug Beil, portrayed as a wild and crazy Red Wings fan by a friend and former associate, oversees racing and sports operations.

Tall, impeccably dressed and boyish in appearance, Beil got his start in the betting business at Bally’s under veteran bookmaker John Avello, who now runs the betting shop at Wynn Las Vegas, and did a stint at the Hilton. before getting his current position.

The doting father of two sons, one a track star and the other a soccer player, Beil is the kind of guy who’s hard not to instantly like.

“He loves weird European sports like soccer, car racing and things like the Tour de France,” said Hamilton Ward, who worked with Beil on the SuperBook.

“He put the odds on Mexican soccer long before Hilton.

“He does a lot of contests and takes very good care of his clients.”

Beil was busy as usual on Tuesday, but took some time to discuss a wide range of main variety topics.


“Sweet 16 action has been slow, but we’ll get a lot on Thursday and Friday,” he said.

“So far the betting has been split between UNLV and Oregon, but by Friday I expect we’ll get a lot of money from UNLV.

“Right now, they’re (players) playing at Georgetown and Ohio State.”

The Hoyas are favored 7 1/2 over Vanderbilt and the Buckeyes are a 4 1/2-point pick over Tennessee, with both games scheduled for Thursday.

Georgetown is the No. 2 seed in the East, while top-ranked Ohio State is the No. 1 seed in the South.

Beil will root for the Rebels, two-and-a-half points underdogs of the Ducks, along with most of the city’s gaming community.

“They can win, that’s why Oregon is an underdog,” Beil said.

“UNLV plays great defense, they’re tenacious and they’re deep.

“If they get past Oregon, Florida will be tough to beat, but all the pressure would be on them and UNLV would have nothing to lose.

“If Florida and UNLV played 10 to 15 times, the Rebels would win a couple and maybe this would be one of those times.”


Right now, Beil says, baseball bettors are so deep in the rim that the Boys of Summer are being overlooked, though future bets “leak” on a daily basis.

“And everyone is betting on the Cubs,” Beil said, echoing the lament Las Vegas bookies have had for years.

The Chicago Northsiders have plummeted from 50/1 to 4/1 in Terrible’s World Series futures book.

“I think they can win?” Biel said.

“I don’t think so, but this year we’ve had more bets on the Cubs than usual.

“I wouldn’t be surprised to see them do something, but I don’t think it will happen.”

The Chicago Southsiders are another matter.

Beil hopes the White Sox, champions of the 2005 Fall Classic, are back in the 2007 picture.

“They’re a strong team that plays good defense, but no one else really jumps on me,” Beil said.

“The same teams that struggled last year should do it again this season … the Yankees and Red Sox in the East, Chicago and Detroit in the Center.

“The White Sox didn’t make the playoffs last year, but I think they’ll be back in the mix.

“The Twins have good young pitching and it depends on how it turns out, especially (Francisco) Loriano.

“In the American League West, I would look at the Angels.

“The A’s have lost some players.”

In the National League, Beil likes the Mets, Cardinals and Dodgers.

“Betting-wise, we always get the most money on teams from New York, Chicago and Los Angeles,” he said.

“Once the season starts, or in a month or two, you’ll see more money (bet) on the Mets and of course the Yankees.

“I like the Cardinals in the Central again, not the Cubs.

“The Dodgers could be contenders and I’m not totally hooked on the Giants.

“There’s a lot of parity and mediocrity in the NL West.

“He’s wide open and I think a strong pitch is going to be the deciding factor.”

horse racing

Beil still doesn’t have a favorite for the Kentucky Derby.

“You have to be careful with horses that jump into the water late,” he said.

“Heavily promoted 2-year-olds don’t necessarily do well as 3-year-olds.

“Horses grow and mature at different times.”

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