Betting on sports hasn’t been high-stakes or reachable. However, with the invasion of Europe-based companies in the game, the pros are feeling pumped and getting banned from plying their trade. Is this the ending of the sports bettor?
I’m not a bookmaker,» Gadoon Kyrollos tells me as we stroll throughout the Hard Rock Casino in Atlantic City, playing penny slot machines. «I’m a sports bettor.» Kyrollos is actually one of the sports bettors in the United States. He stakes millions of dollars each year on sporting events, from NFL matches. He is known throughout the gaming world by the title Spanky, also in sweatpants his hoodie, and back pack, he resembles a 40-year-old version of the Little Rascal. His backpack isn’t currently carrying snacks and school books. It is full of bricks of cash, almost $150,000 worth.
«Bookmakers hang on a number,» he explains, as he pantomimes holding a gun sight up to his attention and pulling the trigger. «And I snipe’em»
Despite the bag filled with cash, Spanky is transfixed by the penny slot machine, pumping one invoice into it after the following. On his phone he consults a spreadsheet that tells him how to play with this particular machine so that it is»and EV,» or positive expected value, meaning the player has an edge over the machine with time. «Here is some real insider shit I’m showing you here,» he tells me, referring to his spreadsheet, which has formulas for dozens of different slot machines plugged in to it. «I mean, it is likely a border of, like, $12, but if you’re walking down the street and saw $12, you would bend down and pick this up, right?»
It’s important to Spanky I understand the gap between bookmaking and gambling, because a lot of folks do not understand or appreciate the distinction, including the Queens district attorney, who billed Spanky with bookmaking in 2012, a charge he states originated from a widespread misunderstanding of the business.
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