Back in the 80’s before offshore, there were 2 ways to bet on sports, in Vegas or through an underground bookie. In my hometown and surrounding areas, I had a plethora of outlets.
Landscapers, bar owners, prison guards, cops, lawyers and a host of others were all bookmakers. There were never any post up rules, we all played on credit. Someone who knew the book would vouch for you. I had a good job and an even better reputation, so it was no problem betting 1k or 2k a game with really no credit limit. He’s good for it is all that would have to be said!
It was paradise. You had guys that never moved their lines, guys who would get the line from the early edition newspaper and even a guy who would say, just give me a fair line. Endless opportunities. After beating some of these guys up, they became my betting partners and would seek out more bookies I could play. It lasted until 1996, when the Feds came a knocking. That’s another story in itself. (Stay tuned.)