Gambling on sports has never been high-stakes or reachable. But with the invasion of Europe-based companies in the game, the experts are feeling routinely getting banned from plying their trade and pumped. Is this the ending of this professional sports bettor?
I am not a bookmaker,” Gadoon Kyrollos tells me as we stroll through the Hard Rock Casino in Atlantic City, enjoying with penny slot machines. “I’m a sports bettor.” Kyrollos is in fact one of the sports bettors in the USA. He stakes millions of dollars every year on sporting occasions, from NFL matches into the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest. He’s known throughout the world by the title Spanky, and in sweatpants his hoodie, and backpack, he looks like a variant of the Rascal. His back pack, nevertheless, isn’t currently carrying school books and snacks. It is full of bricks of money.
“Bookmakers hang a few,” he explains, as he pantomimes holding a gun gearing up to his eye and pulling the trigger. “And I snipe’em.”
Despite the bag full of cash, Spanky is transfixed from the penny slot machine, pumping one bill after the next into it. On his cellphone he consults a recorder which tells him how to perform with this specific machine so that it’s”and EV,” or positive expected value, meaning that the player has an edge over the machine with time. “Here is some true insider shit I’m showing you here,” he tells me, referring to his spreadsheet, which has formulas for dozens of slot machines plugged in to it. “I mean, it is probably a border of, for example, $12, but if you’re walking down the street and watched $12, you would bend down and pick it up, right?”
It’s very important to Spanky that I understand the difference between bookmaking and betting, since a great deal of people don’t know or appreciate the distinction, including the Queens district attorney, that charged Spanky with bookmaking in 2012, a charge he says originated from a widespread misunderstanding of the business.
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