Celebrity sports gambler Rob Gorodetsky sat down with USA TODAY Sports to discuss the future of betting on games outside of Las Vegas.
USA TODAY Sports
Robert Gorodetsky, a high-stakes sports gambler, said he has been banned from several Las Vegas sports books and casinos and likely faces additional bans after a USA TODAY Sports story about the controversial bettor was published Tuesday.
Gorodetsky said he thinks talking to USA TODAY Sports about his alleged ties with NFL star Odell Beckham Jr. and an NBA assistant coach led to the bans by MGM Resorts International and sports book William Hill and that other action will follow.
“I’m banned for life basically from Vegas,’’ Gorodetsky said. “My life is over basically, but nothing I can do.’’
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Debra DeShong, a spokesperson for MGM Resorts International, confirmed Gorodetsky has been denied services but offered no further details. William Hill, which offers a phone betting app that Gorodetsky has used to wager more than $26 million this year, had no comment, company spokesman Michael Grodsky said.
For the USA TODAY Story published Tuesday, Gorodetsky said he loaned Beckham $10,000 to play blackjack and the two considered betting $20,000 on a baseball game before the prospect fell through during an encounter in Las Vegas earlier this year.
Beckham, a star receiver for the New York Giants, has denied knowing Gorodetsky despite a photo showing the two men with their arms around each other. The photo was posted on Gorodetsky’s Instagram page in July.
Brian McCarthy, an NFL spokesman, declined to comment about whether the league was looking into the matter. League policy prohibits any NFL personnel from betting on NFL games or any other professional, college or Olympic sport.
Gorodetsky also showed USA TODAY Sports text messages he said he received from Cleveland Cavaliers shooting coach Damon Jones, a retired NBA player in his second season as an assistant for the Cavs. Gorodetsky pointed to a recent text message that he said was from Jones in which Jones said he was only betting on baseball.
Jones denied knowing Gorodetsky, according to Cavaliers spokesman B.J. Evans.
Gorodetsky said he also has a relationship with Los Angeles Lakers rookie Kyle Kuzma but has not gambled with Kuzma. Kuzma had no comment on the matter, said his agent, Zach Kurtin. Gorodetsky also said he played poker with NBA star Russell Westbrook in 2014 and showed a photo of himself and Westbrook at a poker table.
Westbrook, a star for the Oklahoma City Thunder, had no comment on the matter, Thunder spokesman Matt Tumbleson said.
The NBA is not investigating the allegations, said league spokesman Mike Bass, who on Friday told USA TODAY Sports via email, “There isn’t credible information to suggest an investigation is warranted at this time.”
Additionally, Gorodetsky said, he thinks he’s been hit by the casino ban after speculating that obscure games such as the NBA summer league or small-time college basketball are open to point shaving.
“You just pay college kids, inner-city college kids who don’t have any money,” he told USA TODAY Sports. “Give them 10 grand. That’s like a million dollars to them. You know what I’m saying? Have a bad game, here’s 10 grand. I don’t see how they wouldn’t do it.
“I’d spread it around Vegas, 20 grand a place. They’d never notice. I wouldn’t beat one casino badly. I’d take a little piece from every single (sports) book.”
MGM International Resorts International include the Aria Resort and Casino, which Gorodetsky said he has used as his primary residence for the past two years. He said he has moved to an undisclosed residence off the Las Vegas Strip where he has spent most of the past four years and fears he will no longer be allowed to gamble at Las Vegas casinos.
“Like any business, we reserve the right to deny service to someone,’’ DeShong, the MGM spokesperson, wrote by email. “We will not comment any further other than confirm the decision.”
This year Gorodetsky had bet more than $26 million on sports with William Hill, according to a financial statement from the company. But Grodsky, the William Hill spokesman, said company policy prohibits comment on individual customers.