Ex-Baseball Player Enters Plea for Running Illegal Costa Rica Sportsbook

Posted on: April 14, 2022, 05:48h. 

Last updated on: April 14, 2022, 07:18h.

Wayne Nix, a former minor league baseball player, pled guilty this week to running an illegal sportsbook out of Costa Rica.

Oakland A's
A sign for the MLB’s Oakland A’s at their park in Oakland, CA. A player from one of the team’s farm clubs has pleaded guilty to running an illegal sportsbook. (Image: Complex)

Wayne Nix had hopes of becoming a baseball player whose name would appear in the news around the world. He achieved half of that goal – his name has been in the news, but for a different reason. His illegal sportsbook empire out of Costa Rica fell on the US Attorney’s Office’s sword, bringing his business to an end.

The former athlete, together with business partners Edon Kagasoff and Howard Miller, ran the operation for years before an investigation took it down. Nix and Kagasoff appeared in court this past Monday, according to media outlet Fox 11 Los Angeles. They both pled guilty to a number of charges, including enabling illegal gambling.

Illegal Sportsbook Busted

Nix allegedly began putting together his scheme about two decades ago. At the time, he was looking for a shot at MLB baseball but was stuck on the outside looking in. While he was able to secure spots on the rosters of MLB-tied farm teams, including the Oakland A’s, he never hit the majors.

That was enough, however, for him to make contact with several people throughout the sports world. Nix allegedly used those contacts to begin setting up a major sports betting network, choosing Costa Rica as its base. Over the years, it made millions of dollars.

Miller already appeared in court last week to answer for his involvement. He pled guilty and now faces sentencing, which could mean up to eight years in prison.

Nix faces additional charges on top of the illegal gambling claims. He admitted to not having reported $1.4 million in income in 2017 and 2018.

He and Kagasoff, who joined the operation in 2014, will return to court in the coming months to learn their fate. Nix has a scheduled court date for sentencing on July 20, and his associate will follow a week later.

Also facing possible jail time are Kenneth Arsenian and Joseph Castelao. They have already appeared in court as well, and also pleaded guilty. Castelao was the reported owner of the website that facilitated all of the betting action.

More Names to Fall

Law enforcement may have already caught up with the organization’s leaders, but this story is far from over. Homeland Security and the IRS continue to investigate as more details surface. There’s a very good possibility that several high-profile figures may fall as a result.

Nix and his coconspirators have begun to reveal more details that, combined with the information the investigation uncovered, have the potential to be damaging to some careers. Each new name that surfaces could lead to additional exposure as well.

Three MLB players allegedly helped the business, according to prosecutors. In addition, an MLB coach, a baseball analyst, and a professional football player are all implicated.

An unidentified sports broadcaster allegedly had to refinance his home to settle his gambling debts. All of these names may come up during the ongoing investigation.

MLB executives are also investigating since the case may involve current players and coaches. Nix already got his three strikes and an out. But a number of other players and sports-related figures may soon strikeout as well.