Bet Bash is a Success, Will be an Annual Event

Written by:
Thomas Somach
Published on:
JERSEY CITY, N.J. — The first Bet Bash was so successful that the organizer is already planning another one for Las Vegas in the spring.

He’s also planning to have one in a third, still undecided location, perhaps in the middle of the country.
And, he said, the Jersey City Bet Bash will be an annual event and held again next year.
The first Bet Bash, a massive party and networking event for people in the sports betting industry, was held last Wednesday at the Ashford, a popular bar and restaurant in Jersey City, just outside New York City.
The rooftop event was attended by nearly 300 people from throughout North America, including sportsbook operators, professional and amateur sports bettors, sports handicappers, odds makers and media who cover the industry.
Event-goers each paid $75 to attend and were rewarded with a night of networking and all you could eat and drink.
The event begin at 7 PM and was supposed to end at 10 PM, but was extended another hour because things were going so well.
Also in attendance was former New Jersey state senator Ray Lesniak, who wrote the legislation several years ago that legalized sports betting in New Jersey and was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, opening the gates for legal sports betting in all 50 states.
The mayor of Jersey City, Steven Fulop, was also there, as was Joe Brennan, a key lobbyist in the effort to legalize sports betting in New Jersey.
Bet Bash was organized by a high-stakes, professional sports bettor from Jersey City named Gadoon “Spanky” Kyrollos.
He told a Gambling 911 reporter who attended the event that in 2022 there will be another Bet Bash in Jersey City, as well as ones in Las Vegas and another still-undetermined city.
At the start of last Wednesday’s Bet Bash, Kyrollos, Fulop and Lesniak addressed the crowd.
Kyrollos welcomed everyone and thanked them for attending.
Fulop said: “I’m excited about the progress around legalized betting and online betting here in New Jersey. That was a long, long journey.
“My main responsibility here is to introduce the person who made that possible in New Jersey. Had it not been for one individual, today’s event would not be happening.
“For more than 40 years, Senator Lesniak has been at the forefront of issues that impact you every single day. He is a champion for making sure legalized betting happened throughout New Jersey.”
Lesniak, 75, wearing a baseball cap that read “Senator Ray” and holding a copy of “Beating the Odds,” the book he wrote about getting sports betting legalized in New Jersey, then spoke.
“The mayor was right,” Lesniak said. “There’s one person responsible for all of you being here and that would be me. I’m not shy.
“It took 12 years (to get sports betting legalized in New Jersey). No one thought I was going to win. The casinos were against me. The New Jersey casinos opposed me. It’s in my book.”
Lesniak then plugged his book—a very thin paperback—saying it was now in its second printing.
He then talked about the sports betting bill he wrote that eventually became law in New Jersey.
“Eight losses in court before it became law,” he said. “The bill saved several casinos and race tracks in New Jersey from going out of business.”

(pictured below: Massive Crowd at Bet Bash Jersey City, Organizer Spanky with sports betting buddy Tiger)

He ended by talking about his upbringing and how his father used to take the family to the racetrack every week to bet the horses.
Later, in an exclusive interview with a Gambling 911 reporter, Lesniak was asked if he bet on sports.
“I used to but those days are over,” he said. “I used to when it wasn’t legal.”
By Tom Somach
Gambling 911 Chief Correspondent

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