Self-proclaimed professional sports gambler Robert “Big Rob” Gorodetsky thought he was simply getting a bit of media attention when he sat down with USA Today Sports to discuss the future of sports betting. But what he got was a ban by at least two major Las Vegas casino operators.
MGM Resorts confirmed to USA Today that sports betting services are no longer being offered to Gorodetsky, who claims to run an online handicapping website where he offers monthly packages with of picks for subscribers who pay $500 per month, or $1,000 for three months.
Gorodetsky said William Hill, an operator with whom he claims to have placed more than $27 million in bets in 2017, has also suspended him. William Hill offers live and mobile sports betting at 109 locations across Nevada.
“I’m banned for life basically from Vegas,” Gorodetsky said in a follow-up interview. “My life is over, but nothing I can do.”
Gorodetsky’s celebrity gambler persona is eerily similar to “Vegas Dave,” as the two flaunt big bets, big wins, lavish cars, and an endless supply of women. “Vegas Dave,” real name Dave Oancea, was indicted on federal charges last year for allegedly using fake social security numbers at casinos in an effort to dodge taxes.
Celebrity Athlete Encounters
In the USA Today interview, Gorodetsky revealed that he has relationships with several high-profile professional athletes, with one being NFL star Odell Beckham Jr. The high-stakes gambler said he loaned the prolific wide receiver $10,000 to play blackjack in Las Vegas, and the two recently considered placing money on the outcome of a Major League Baseball game.
Beckham, who signed a four-year, $10.4 million contract with the New York Giants ahead of the 2014 season, denies knowing Gorodetsky, though the photo above suggests the two have at least met.
Gorodetsky also showed USA Today text messages discussing sports betting with Damon Jones, a former NBA player who now works as an assistant with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Jones, like Beckham, denies knowing Gorodetsky.
NFL players are barred from placing bets on league games, but not on other team sports such as baseball. That means if Gorodetsky was simply considering a joint bet on a baseball game with Beckham, he might not have been breaking any law, unless he was acting as a bookie who was using interstate phone lines to facilitate the wager on the NFL star’s behalf.
How to Fix a Game
Regardless, it never happened according to Gorodetsky, so why exactly was he suspended by at least two sportsbooks? He suspects it was his thoughts on sports betting expressed to USA Today that caused the casino operators’ consternation.
In his interview, Gorodetsky opined that college athletes and less celebrated pros competing in leagues such as the NBA Summer League, which is held annually in Las Vegas, are susceptible to throwing a game.
“Have a bad game, here’s 10 grand. I don’t see how they wouldn’t do it,” Gorodetsky declared. “I’d spread it around Vegas, 20 grand a place. They’d never notice. I’d take a little piece from every single sportsbook.”
According to countless betting slip photos posted on social media, Aria (an MGM property) was one of Gorodetsky’s favorite sportsbooks. He bet at least $150,000 on NBA Summer League games in 2017, as he shared five ticket slips with wagers of $30,000 or more on Instagram last July.