Sports and betting go well together in the United States until they don't. From Phil Mickelson to Alvin Kamara, players have been known to occasionally dabble in sports gambling, and while there has been no malicious intent on their part, a line has been crossed.
This time, the person that excited interest seems to be Maverick Carter, who confirmed to federal agents that he had spent thousands of dollars on NBA and NFL game bets, as reported by The Washington Post last week. Carter is LeBron James’ manager, and this puts Maverick in an ambiguous position, although he has not committed anything illegal.
The NBA, just like the NFL, and many other high-tier sports leagues in the United States, explicitly prohibit insiders (including players, staff, and officials) to gamble on the outcome of their respective sports. Interestingly though, business managers or agents are not actually obligated by those NBA rules.
According to the Washington Post which investigated the alleged offenses, Carter placed a total of 20 wagers across both the NBA and NFL.
The amounts of those wagers ranged from $5,000 to $10,000, and they were placed through an unauthorized bookmaker. However, Carter was never charged. In fact, he was only interviewed by federal agents once, Adam Mendelsohn, a spokesperson for both James and Carter said.
"In 2021 and before 38 states and the District of Columbia legalized sports betting, Maverick Carter was interviewed a single time by federal law enforcement regarding their investigation into Wayne Nix," Mendelsohn explained. Carter had denied that the wagers had anything to do with James or his games in any sense.
Nix was ultimately charged and pled guilty that he had worked with offshore sports betting operations to make those wagers and others happen. However, Carter has walked away with the investigation not citing his name any further or indicting him in any capacity.
In theory, participating in illegal gambling websites is considered a misdemeanor, although this may depend on the state where you are in. Most, though, tend to agree at least in theory that this is an offense. However, no person has been indicted or convicted on such charges, unless they were the person that was running the entire operation.
Scrutiny of illegal gambling and gambling perpetuated by active or associated athletes though has been going up in the United States.
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