This year's inductees into the Sports Betting Hall of Fame have been announced and will be officially recognized next year at the Betting on Sports America conference at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in New Jersey from April 28-30.
5 industry heavyweights will join 6 current members who have made an outstanding contribution to the betting and gaming industry over their careers and have left a lasting legacy in their wake.
SBC’s Vice President of Growth and Strategy recently commented that: “All five of these individuals are among the trailblazers of sports betting in the United States. From operators, legislatures, oddsmakers, and industry advocates this group also shows the depth and breadth of the overall industry within the US.”
The five new members follow Art Manteris, Dennis Drazan, Chris Christie, and also NFL record holder and Pro Football Hall of Fame member Morten Andersen who were honored last year.
Raymond Lesniak, Former Senator New Jersey
Was instrumental in getting the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) overturned in the US, essentially paving the way from legalized gambling in the states. Lesniak has since been a key voice in keeping New Jersey the most bet-friendly state outside of Nevada.
Lesniak has played a large role in getting New Jersey's enviable online betting platform up-and-running. Under Lesniak, New Jersey has become the model to which other states in the process of legalizing sports betting are turning to.
Jay Rood, COO, Bet.Works
Worked his way up in the betting industry – from a ticket taker at Caesars in Lake Tahoe in 1992 to becoming overseer of all of MGM's 10 sportsbooks in Nevada, Mississippi, and New Jersey. He was instrumental in developing the wagering platform that MGM used for its retail and mobile betting operations across the US.
After 25 years in the betting industry, Rood currently enjoys his post as Chief Risk Officer and is responsible for all of Bet.Works betting activity.
Roxy Roxborough, Legendary Las Vegas Oddsmaker
Is co-founder and owner of Las Vegas Sports Consultants and is considered a true trailblazer as the first company to use mathematical formulas and computer models. His vision revolutionized the way Sportsbooks conduct business and the way they provide elite analytics to the customer.
Roxborough was also co-founder of Salerno of American Wagering Inc, the first US bookmaking company to be publicly traded in 1996 and co-founded Instant Odds which was the first site to provide real-time odds direct from Las Vegas.
If that's not all, Roxborough co-authored “Sports Book Management: A Guide to the Legal Bookmaker” in 1998 which sought to teach interested readers about the sports betting industry.
Victor Salerno, President, USBookmaking & US Fantasy Sports
Legendary oddsmaker was instrumental in taking USBookmaking to the forefront of sports betting providers which serve Native American casinos. He was also a big player in the technical side of sportsbooks worldwide, working to develop computer technology into the sportsbook realm. He also worked alongside fellow inductee Roxy Roxborough in founding Instant Odds, the first real-time sports odds updates of Las Vegas casinos.
This will be Salerno's second Hall of Fame induction – he was inducted to the American Gaming Association’s Hall of Fame in 2015.
Sara Slane, Former American Gaming Association Sr VP
Former senior vice president of public affairs at the AGA where she acted as a key strategist and spokesperson. She acted as an industry cheerleader and was responsible for winning over regulators, legislators, the media, and the broader public.
Slane was a key member of the Committee responsible for the federal ban on Sports Betting being overturned. Without her crucial advocacy work, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) may still be in place rendering the legal sports betting landscape in the US non-existent.