Competitors Palms, Rampart/Cannery, and South Point have conspired to attempt to fix prices at their sports books, to the detriment of the public. Though the books will remain independent in their operations, they will have the same lines (i.e, prices) at all locations. It is worth noting that these are competitors, not several locations under unified ownership, such as Harrah’s, MGM, Leroy’s, Cal-Neva, et al.
In this article, the books brag about how they will be able to handle heavier action. But what good are higher limits when the prices are fixed?
Bert Osbourne, South Point’s sports book director, will set the lines for the eight properties, but each book will continue to be owned and operated by its current owners.
This is no different than the managers of Wal-Mart, K-Mart, and Target getting together and agreeing to charge the identical price on every item they sell. There used to be anti-trust laws; do they still exist? Crooked businesspeople used to be prosecuted for scams like this; but these casino folks are doing it in the open and bragging about it.
Here is a chance for the Nevada Gaming Control Board to show it is at least a little bit more than a puppet for the casino industry. It showed a little backbone in the recent nightclub scandals, though it stopped woefully short by declining to recommend criminal prosecution. Will it meet the challenge and stop this despicable price-fixing scam, or will it roll over as usual? Sad to say, my money is on the Board rolling over. The casino patron gets the short end of the stick again. Shame, shame, shame. These characters wonder why Nevada had its biggest decrease in gaming win in history this year. Lack of meaningful patron protection against casino wrongdoing, and the Nevada casino industry’s “screw the public” mentality are surely among the reasons.
If the Gaming Control Board refuses to stop this, perhaps it’s time for the U.S. Department of Justice to take action.