Betting on sports has never been high-stakes or accessible. However, with the invasion of Europe-based businesses in the sport, the pros are feeling getting banned from plying their trade and squeezed. Is this the end of this professional sports bettor?
I am not a bookmaker,” Gadoon Kyrollos informs me as we walk throughout the Hard Rock Casino in Atlantic City, enjoying with penny slot machines. “I’m a sports bettor.” Kyrollos is in fact one of the highest-rolling sports bettors in the United States. He bets millions of dollars each year to the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, from NFL games on sporting occasions. He’s known throughout the world by the name Spanky, and in backpack, sweatpants, and his hoodie, he very much resembles a 40-year-old version of the Little Rascal. His backpack, however, is not carrying snacks and school books. It’s filled with bricks of money, almost $150,000 worth.
“Bookmakers hang a few,” he explains, as he pantomimes holding a gun gearing as much as his eye and pulling the trigger. “And that I snipe’em”
Despite the bag full of money, Spanky is transfixed from the penny slot machine, pumping one bill into it after the next. On his phone he consults a recorder which tells him how to perform with this specific machine so that it’s”plus EV,” or positive expected value, meaning the player has an advantage over the system over time. “This is some real insider shit I’m showing you right here,” he tells me, referring to his spreadsheet, which has formulas for heaps of slot machines plugged in to it. “I mean, it is probably an edge of, for example, $12, but in case you’re walking down the street and watched $12, you would bend down and pick it up, right?”
It is important to Spanky that I know the gap between bookmaking and betting, because a great deal of people do not understand or appreciate the differentiation, such as the Queens district attorney, who charged Spanky with bookmaking in 2012, a fee he says stemmed from a widespread harassment of this enterprise.
Read more: usvirugby.org