Notorious Las Vegas sports bettor Billy Walters will serve prison time for insider trading. FanDuel has abandoned its efforts in the UK. Lee Davy wonders what’s next for PokerGO. And more.
Whale Washes Up in Nevada
It’s an unfortunate truth that small-time cheats tend to have the book thrown at them, while the biggest ones get excused, occasionally lionized, sometimes even elected to office. In an exception which proves the rule, Las Vegas businessman and high rolling sports bettor Billy Walters has been sentenced to five years in prison for insider trading, despite the best efforts of friends in high places to have him let off with a slap on the wrist.
The hubris of wealth and related assumption of untouchability seems to have been a big factor in his downfall; U.S. District Judge P. Kevin Castel described his approach as “amateurishly simple,” and his attempts to claim ill health as a reason to avoid prison time were undermined by his decision to go golfing repeatedly in the weeks leading up to his sentencing.
Walters’s partner in crime was the former chairman of Dean Foods, Thomas Davis. Davis is a hopelessly degenerate gambler and traded Walters insider information in return for the latter bailing him out of his gambling debts. Probably no one else in Las Vegas will be as sad to see the two of them behind bars as the owners of the casinos they frequented.
– Daily fantasy sports giant FanDuel has discontinued service for its customers in the United Kingdom. Despite the company’s attempts to spin the announcement positively and its promises of eventual return, it’s clear that the British simply don’t have an appetite for the product in question, likely because conventional sports betting is both legal and very popular there.
– Matt Clark has a nice piece over at PocketFives describing the experience of being on 2017 WSOP Main Event winner Scott Blumstein’s rail for the three days of his final table.
– Lee Davy was skeptical about PokerGo at first, but has become a convert. Now that the WSOP is over, he wonders what’s next for it and parent company Poker Central.
– PokerNews has a fascinating throwback story to what may well be the greatest low-stakes craps streak in the history of Las Vegas.