Wall Street finds a new home in Vegas

One brokerage has set up sports-betting operations at casinos along the Strip.

By Kim Peterson May 15, 2012 10:58AM
Image: Dice on stock listings (© Kate Kunz/CorbisWall Street trading is volatile, risky and fraught with huge swings in profit and loss. Las Vegas betting happens to be that way, too.

So it makes sense that when you plop a Wall Street brokerage into the middle of the Las Vegas strip, it will take to its new home like a fish to water. That's what's happened with Cantor Fitzgerald, a bond-trading firm that decided to try a little casino sports betting.

Cantor Fitzgerald has partnered with several casinos on the Las Vegas Strip, including the Venetian and the Palazzo, owned by Las Vegas Sands (LVS). Cantor specializes in sports books at the casinos, and has brought in new technologies that extract even more money from avid gamblers.

Cantor uses its own computer servers and software -- the same kind of algorithms used on Wall Street -- to produce fast odds on sporting events, Bloomberg reports. The software has created all kinds of new ways to bet.

At the Venetian, Cantor now has a huge 100-foot-wide TV that can show 34 sporting events at the same time. It can offer betting opportunities on in-game events just moments before they happen.

During a recent basketball game, for example, Cantor flashed a bet on the television screen as a player was preparing to shoot two foul shots. Want to bet that he sinks those? Swipe your finger across the screen and Cantor will automatically register the bet.

Cantor gets a fee of about 2% on wagers and winnings, Bloomberg reports, and shares the rest with the casino.

The plethora of new gambling opportunities has boosted the amount of wagers in Nevada sports betting.

Now, Cantor's betting unit is coming back to Wall Street, in a roundabout way, with the ultimate gamble: its own IPO. Cantor Entertainment has filed for an IPO, but it's unclear when or even if the offering will happen. (You can read the S-1 filing here.)

Cantor Entertainment still isn't profitable. It lost about $22 million in the first nine months of last year. But the company is pouring money into new mobile gaming technologies, a rapidly expanding platform. Now, you can place mobile bets in casino hotel rooms.

And maybe, down the road, mobile betting will expand beyond state lines. Could sports betting become a national pastime? Perhaps. And Cantor will be ready to clean up if it does.
Tags: IPOLVS
17Comments
May 15, 2012 1:45PM
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THEY WILL CLEAN UP WHILE YOU GET CLEANED OUT
May 15, 2012 2:30PM
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It is fitting that Wall Street casino meets Las Vegas casino.  Both are fixed and ready to take your money. 
May 15, 2012 2:44PM
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Finally we have the truth, that has always been the truth:  brokerages and stock markets are croupiers and gambling halls, respectively.   It is gambling.

May 26, 2012 6:02AM
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can we finally grow up and end this monstrosity yet? this is an outright admission of what many of us have known for a long time: the financial markets aren't distributors of wealth for the economy. They're rigged casinos with the worst of all odds.

 

Shut....them....down.

May 15, 2012 3:19PM
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WOW! Let me count the ways to separate you from your money! SMH
May 26, 2012 11:29AM
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Gambling and Stocks?......hmmmmmm, Is there REALLY a DIFFERENCE people?!?
May 26, 2012 8:25AM
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why not legalize sports-betting anyway so the gov can make some more money so we trim our debt it maybe the answer to the promblem to debt being 50% of the public gambles legal or non legal make it easy
May 26, 2012 7:38AM
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Only lost $22 million?  Sounds like a good investment.
May 15, 2012 8:32PM
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I predict wall street losers losses more if the proffessional gamblers discover wall street. And not counting the fees (tongs).
May 15, 2012 6:34PM
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And like poker, the skilled players win big bucks and the donkeys beach that the game is rigged against them. They never learn because they are not in it to win it.
May 26, 2012 11:17AM
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If you want to play you have to pay,you dont have to play, so choose your poison,life is a gamble anyway. Put up or shut up.
May 26, 2012 6:10AM
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I know CF lost many on 9/11. But times are even tougher. Might as well make $ off your employees since they will be blowing it on gambling. I guess next they will deal blow and high cost call girls too. 
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Washington is stuck in rocking chair policies,and since these dinosaurs will never pass term limits, we will never get nationwide sports betting.The taxes collected will go a long way to rectify the fiscal imbalnces of the national budget.
May 26, 2012 2:01PM
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2% sounds like a BARGAIN. The states routinely keep 20% on parimutual horse betting and 50%+ on all lotteries.
May 26, 2012 11:44AM
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the only other place that should have sports betting is jersey (which exit).it would serve such a big market.
May 26, 2012 7:45AM
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PLEASE ... as a sports book writer in No. NV, I would NOT like to see nationwide sports betting legalized!!  Our state has taken as bit a hit economically as Detroit since 2008 ... and as we depend on GAMING as our main industry, we need NO MORE competition than has already been made via Indian Casinos!! Save us SOMETHING special!!
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