Take Him To The River: Oddsmaker Jimmy Vaccaro Headed Back To Pittsburgh

Written By Grant Lucas on February 1, 2019
Jimmy Vaccaro Rivers Sportsbook

A renowned Las Vegas oddsmaker is returning home.

Considered a sports betting legend, Jimmy Vaccaro is stepping into the role of Director of Sports Relations for Rivers Sportsbook in his hometown Pittsburgh.

“We’re thrilled to bring Jimmy back home to Pennsylvania,” Bill Keena, Rivers general manager, said in a press release.

“When it comes to sports betting — customer experience, operational excellence, setting the odds — Jimmy is the gold standard.”

Vaccaro lands in Pittsburgh

For decades, Vaccaro was a sports betting mainstay in Sin City. Most recently he served as South Point Casino’s director of sports marketing. In November, though, word leaked that he was on his way out, to join Rush Street Gaming in Pennsylvania.

At the time, Rush Street was still waiting to launch its PA sports betting operations at Rivers and at SugarHouse Sportsbook in Philadelphia.

Now, according to the release, Vaccaro will “advise and further develop Rivers Sportsbook.”

Homecoming for new director

Vaccaro worked with over a dozen sportsbooks during his time in Vegas, including at The Mirage, where Vaccaro helped launch a sportsbook.

At South Point, he ran an independent sportsbook that became renowned for posting its own lines without relying on other casinos or bookmaking services.

According to the press release, Vaccaro noted that his industry legend status stems being “first and foremost a sports bettor.”

“That’s what makes sports betting fun,” Vaccaro said. “Fans of the movies will often guess the ending, but for sports fans, no two games are alike.”

Rivers already in driver’s seat

The Pittsburgh casino debuted its sports book in midDecember, the same day as SugarHouse, to join Hollywood Sportsbook as the first PA sports betting operations.

In its first month, Rivers led the three-sportsbook state with $1,066,157 in PA sports betting revenue from $5,581,553 in accepted wagers. Of course, the book also had the benefit of not having to pay out a bunch of Philadelphia Eagles Wild Card Weekend tickets like SugarHouse Casino did.

Certainly, that hold of 19.1 percent won’t last. But with Vaccaro joining the squad, Rivers appears to be in prime position to remain the state leader in sports betting.

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Grant Lucas

Grant Lucas is a longtime sportswriter who has covered the high school, collegiate, and professional levels. A graduate of Linfield College in McMinnville, Grant has covered games and written features and columns surrounding prep sports, Linfield, and Oregon State athletics and the Portland Trail Blazers throughout his career.

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