In 1978, while Tony Miller was running up and down the field at UNLV as one of the college’s football players, he was also running up and down the Las Vegas Strip as a “runner.”
“Back then they didn’t have legalized sportsbooks, so I was called a runner and I would run bets for people,” he says. Miller ended up really liking the runner job, so by 1985, when betting on sports had finally become legalized inside casinos, he was hired as a ticket writer at Caesars Palace’s sportsbook.
Over the years, he’s worked at different sportsbooks. He spent 12 years at Las Vegas Hilton, helping to open their Superbook, and worked as a sportsbook director at Hard Rock Hotel, Red Rock Resort and, in 2006, he joined Golden Nugget, where he still works today as the executive director of race and sports.
“This is the best job I’ve ever had,” Miller says. “Tilman Fertitta is probably the best owner and is someone I can talk to about things. It’s just been a great career here at the Golden Nugget, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.”
Running the sportsbook, Miller keeps an eye on all things sports. “I make lines for all the sporting events around the world that we book here,” he says. “I come up with the point spreads—try and make money on those particular games. … It starts from five in the morning when I get up and look at daily headlines. Who’s hurt today? Who’s not? Is it raining? Is it indoors, outdoors? Is it turf or grass? So many factors go into a point spread, and I have to know all these things on a daily basis.”
After more than three decades in the industry, Miller serves as one of the elder statesmen of the Vegas sportsbooks. “I love sports,” he says. “I’ll go home every night to this day and drive my wife crazy ‘cause I leave work and put on a game at home. I knew if I could never be a professional ball player, this was the next best thing.”
Libation: Barrel Aged Manhattan
“You know how you go to a concert in a small venue, and you like it so much because it’s quaint and you’re with a smaller crowd?” Miller says. “That’s this atmosphere, every day. We talk to everyone. It’s just a quaint little book.” After making a bet, head to Saltgrass Steak House to catch the game on one of the 23 TVs. Order up the Barrel Aged Manhattan, a mix of Balcones Texas Pot Still bourbon, Martini & Rossi sweet vermouth and D.O.M Benedictine …….