BOOK REVIEW: ‘Then One Day – 40 Years of Bookmaking in Nevada’ Buddy Frank, CDC Gaming Reports · July 11, 2019 at 12:59 am ‘Then One Day – 40 Years Of Bookmaking In Nevada’ By Chris Andrews – 238 Pages – Huntington Press – 2019 It’s a rare day when there’s not breaking news on our feeds recently about “Sports Betting.” It’s the subject du jour in gaming right alongside buzz-topics like “millennials,” “skill-based slots” and “eSports.” Therefore, it’s quite relevant that Huntington Press released “Then One Day” about bookmaking just last month. However, this work starts years ago. It begins in the late 1960’s when author Andrews and his cousin Zach were booking action from their fifth grade pals in junior high. It covers his career from his youthful “illegal bookmaking” as the nephew of a Pittsburgh/Las Vegas “wise guy” (his Uncle Jack) to one of the most respected oddsmakers, podcasters and characters in the industry today. His legitimate casino career began at the infamous Stardust (post-mob) and continued through stints at the Barbary Coast, a long run at Reno’s Cal-Neva, then the Golden Nugget, and presently at Michael Gaughan’s South Point. This book is fascinating on several levels. Unlike many auto biographies, this is a fun and easy read. To use an overworked reviewer’s’ term, it was hard to put down. Rather than a detailed chronicle, it is a collection of stories tied to Andrew’s lifeline about taking bets at these legendary Nevada properties. When Andrews began his more-recent podcasting role, he found that listeners responded exceptionally well to his stories about the early days in the industry and the characters he met along the way. Most of his tales began with the title line of “then one day.” I literally found myself at times laughing out loud or nodding in agreement with these fascinating recollections. I also loved the “sidebars” throughout the text explaining insider slang from the betting windows. Want to know about “steam,” “double windowing,” “beards” and “scalping?” It’s all here. The only complaint is I wish there were even more of these folksy definitions. It won’t take you long to figure out that Chris, like me, probably lacks the “PC”-skills to make it in the uptight corporate gaming world. But that’s exactly what makes this such a good read. Chapter 10 is entitled: “Adventures in Bad Bookmaking: Special Harrah’s Edition.” You’ll get a chuckle as Andrews details some of the stupefying efforts that his Harrah’s Reno competitors attempted. Some of his early basketball tales (both pro and college) from Las Vegas are also classics. He repeats one of my favorite coach Jerry Tarkanian quotes, “I love transfers. They’ve already got their cars paid for.” You’ll especially like all the other tales about the various characters that made the sports and race books their home in Reno and Las Vegas. You may not learn the latest on in-game betting, fantasy leagues or the future of mobile sports wagering; but this book is a very entertaining read and a great reflection on the early days of bookmaking. There’s personal tales on many of the legendary characters in the betting world including Michael Gaughan, Warren Nelson, Sonny Vaccaro, Jack Franzi, Roxy Roxborough, Art Manteris and others. I’ve always told any willing listener that the best strategies to deal with tomorrow’s new technology are buried in our history. If you want to know more about the emerging sports betting landscape, start with this book.