This is the third part of an interview with Fernando, Head Linesman and Odds Analyst from Hollywood Sportsbook.
INTERVIEW, Part III
SBR Bill Dozer: So you think as our country becomes more educated, like some of the other countries that have been gambling for a while, will probably be more attracted to what Hollywood offers?
Fernando: Yeah, we are starting to offer soccer lines. And we go out there and have props on most of the football games. We are starting to get more in the prop business, we did that for the basketball players; we posted prop-bets on a lot of the playoff games and we sold a lot of business, people really like that and we are going to try to continue with that.
SBR BD: It seems like the public is realizing slowly that saving a couple cents per bet is even more valuable than a huge bonus.
Frndo: That’s for sure. Anyone that knows anything about gambling knows that laying -107 is much better than getting any kind of a bonus because you’ll make that up in a few games. Then the bonus doesn’t mean anything; but laying $1.07 adds up. It definitely adds up. It’ll save you on the long run, maybe 30 percent of the juice at least.
SBR BD: It’s important that you let the people know who wouldn’t realize it right off?
SBR BD: I have some more questions pertaining to the “mighty 107”…Have you had a change in professional action since Hollywood entered the reduced juice market? Maybe more people looking for line shopping and the scalpers, more value shoppers?
Frndo: Oh yeah, when we started offering $1.07, we got a lot of customers that signed up for the reduced juice program and a lot of them are professionals, but if you are scalping and you are laying $1.07, your odds as a player gets better. (In the sports-betting industry, "scalpers" or "middlers" are the names assigned to those players who arbitrage. Arbitraging is the practice of purchasing securities on one market -in this case, a line offered by one sportsbook- for immediate resale on another market -in this case, offsetting the number using a different line posted by another sportsbook- in order to profit from a price discrepancy*)
Say for instance, if you were laying $1.10 on both sides and trying to catch a middle, you might be getting 20-to-1 odds on your bet. But now, if you’re playing a middle and you are laying $1.07 on a side, now your odds are much better than that; because now you are going to get 28.5-to-1 odds on your middle; instead of only getting 20-to-1, just by laying $1.07. That’s just to show you how strong laying $1.07 is.
Let me explain further: If you were playing to hit a "middle", say 3 ½ and 4 ½ in a football game and laying $1.10; if you were to hit that bed, you would be getting 20 to 1 odds. By laying $1.07 -playing the same middle- your odds to win money improve significantly; you are now getting 28.5-to-1 odds on your middle. That’s much better. So that’s what I’m saying. So for people who bet middles, laying $1.07 is terrific. It just builds their odds up better and for them to make money, they don’t have to hit it one out of every 20 times. They can hit it one out of every 27 times and they will make some money. So they have more chances to play middles, and better value for them.
SBR BD: Absolutely. Does Hollywood have any stance against people who are scalping or middling? Do they seem to care about that?
Frndo: No. We just put up a number and we want action. If we are going to move the number a point it’s up to us; but no, we just put up numbers and we want the action. We welcome middle players, regular players, a little bit of everything.
SBR BD: I would imagine your local customers would provide you with a lot of local action. Did you have to lay off to other bookies, and does Hollywood bet off some action to manage their risk?
Frndo: No we don’t, we jut move the numbers. Usually we get 2-way action from the professional gamblers we have. If you go high enough, they will take it back. But no, we don’t lay off to other bookmakers, we just move our numbers and usually we will get a buy-back.
SBR BD: So, there is just no need to do it?
Frndo: We just don’t do it. It hasn’t been to that situation yet -since the 2 years I have been here- that we have had to lay off to another bookmaker to hedge our bet, we just usually move the number and get the business.
SBR BD: Where do you see Hollywood in 5-10 years considering the industry’s evolution? I think you already mentioned this before about possibly the 105 but…
Frndo: Well I have been with Hollywood only for 2 years; they have been around much longer than that. I think they have been around for about 10 years altogether and they have been growing every year.
Every year we keep growing in our customer base and our operations grow and so I can see this getting better and better as a sportsbook, and getting bigger and bigger. Our company has a very good customer service department and everybody’s on the same page. In general, we provide an excellent service so I can only see this company getting better.
SBR BD: So you can just see the volume growing and as you mentioned before, there is a potential for an even bigger price cut?
Frndo: Yes, our customers have been going up at about a fifty percent ratio every year. So we have been increasing our customer base every year.
SBR BD: Wow, fifty percent, that’s great, I did not know that. In this day and age, player safety has become a bigger factor in selecting a book. What can you tell players to make them feel comfortable sending money to Hollywood?
Frndo: Well the only thing that I can say is that Hollywood has been around for 10 years. It’s a company that has a perfect record of fast payouts and I know the people that are in charge of Hollywood and they would never let their names be ruined. They are very, very honorable people, who understand what to expect from a player and what to expect from an office and the top priority is making sure that everybody is paid as soon as they ask for their money; and their flawless record speaks for itself.
SBR BD: Fernando, you gave me some good stuff. I appreciate your time, I know that you are busy and I do appreciate it, thanks a lot.
Frndo: Thanks a lot, my man. Bye.
*You can read Part I and Part III of this interview by clicking on the following links: Legendary NY Bookmaker Gone Offshore, Part I; Legendary NY Bookmaker Gone Offshore, Part II. Explanatory side notes by the SBR Team will be italized.
Read other interviews by the SBR Team, conducted by SBR Bill Dozer.
SBR Writer, Analyst, and Sportsbook player. Helps other players avoid scams and provides advice in dealing with offshore sportsbooks. For more information visit http://www.SportsBookReview.com or send an email to mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.