Requiem for a Sports Bettor

Betting on sports has never been more high-stakes or reachable. However, with the invasion of businesses in the sport, the experts are feeling squeezed and frequently getting banned from plying their trade. Is this the end of the sports bettor?
I’m not a bookmaker,» Gadoon Kyrollos tells me as we stroll through the Hard Rock Casino in Atlantic City, enjoying with penny slot machines. «I am a sports bettor.» Kyrollos is one of the highest-rolling sports bettors in the USA. He stakes millions of dollars every year into the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, from NFL games on sporting events. He is known throughout the world by the name Spanky, and in his hoodie, sweatpants, and backpack, he very much looks like a 40-year-old version of the Rascal. His back pack, however, isn’t carrying school books and snacks. It’s full of bricks of cash.
«Bookmakers hang on a few,» he explains, as he pantomimes holding a gun sight as much as his eye and pulling the trigger. «And I snipe’em»
Regardless of the bag filled with cash, Spanky is transfixed from the penny slot machine, pumping one invoice after the following. On his phone he consults a spreadsheet that tells him how to play with this specific machine so that it is»and EV,» or positive expected value, meaning the player has an edge within the system with time. «This is some true insider shit I am showing you here,» he tells me, speaking to his spreadsheet, which has formulas for dozens of slot machines plugged in to it. «I mean, it is probably an edge of, like, $12, but in case you were walking down the road and watched $12, you’d bend down and pick it up, right?»
It is important to Spanky that I know the difference between bookmaking and gambling, since a great deal of folks don’t know or appreciate the distinction, including the Queens district attorney, that charged Spanky with bookmaking in 2012, a fee he says originated from a widespread harassment of this business.

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