Kaplan in 2000 placed an ad in the Daily Racing Form looking for a CEO. The ideal candidate would have no interest in the minutiae of BOS' daily operations. Instead, the CEO would be an ambassador, so to speak, a professional public face for the business.
"Gary had come up with a plan to take the company public," recalls Weitzner. "He bragged about it to me. He said he was going to make his millions through stock. I laughed at him. I said, 'How are you going to go public? You're a bookmaker with a bad record.'"
Kaplan's answer was David Carruthers, a Scotsman who, at age nineteen, had become the youngest manager at the elder statesman of British betting shops, Ladbrokes. With an MBA from a British university, a grasp of international politics and a wide-reaching professional network, the 50-year-old Carruthers, according to insiders, became the crux of Kaplan's so-called "escape strategy."
"David was a breath of fresh air for the industry -- well-respected, intelligent and well-rounded," remembers Kevin Smith, a former trade reporter who later became the spokesman for BOS. "When I covered the business I was used to dealing with fuckwads who'd say, 'I'm going to do so much for this industry,' and then never did a thing. With David, for once, I wasn't dealing with a used-car salesman."
Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of St. Louis and beyond.
Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.
Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep St. Louis' true free press free.