Ex-NBA Exec and Gambling Expert Wants to Take on Real Madrid and Barcelona With Newly Purchased Football Club

Written by:
Gilbert Horowitz
Published on:

For more than a decade, Haralabos (Bob) Voulgaris has been one of the most well-known analysts in the sports world.  He has previously directing the analytics group for the Dallas Mavericks and owner Mark Cuban. At the Mavs, he took on the role of Director of Quantitative Research and Development in 2018.


Voulgaris is known for his ability to utilize complex statistical models and translate said data into high-stakes winning bets on the NBA.  His historic win rate at one point hit 70%.

He's also had great success on the live poker circuit with just over $3 million in career winnings. He finished 4th in the 2017 $ 111,111 No Limit Hold'em - High Roller for One Drop and walked away with a cool $ 1,158,883.

Now Voulgaris has more lofty visions.  He recently purchased the small Spanish club with a goal of getting them regulated and to some day be more competitive against powerhouses Real Madrid and Barcelona.

His CD Castellon has spent just 11 of its 100 seasons in the top flight, just six of its last 28 campaigns above the third division.  It last had some degree of success in 1973, finishing as the runner-up in the 1973 Copa del Rey tournament.  It currently plays in the third division.

"This team has the potential to be a LaLiga team," Voulgaris tells ESPN.  "It has the local support from its fans, it has a very deep and rich history."

Voulgaris said promotion to higher divisions would certainly increase the value of his investment, though details of the initial purchase were not publicly disclosed and he did not provide this information to ESPN.

"There is more upside because we are in the third division," Voulgaris said. "Had this been a first or second division team, it wouldn't be nearly as attractive."

Spreadex Fined Over Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Social Responsibility Failings

Spreadex, the financial trading and sports betting company and sponsorship partner of Premier League club Sunderland, has been fined £1.36 million (US$1.6 million) of anti-money laundering and social responsiblity failings.

The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) handed down the substantial fine.

The UKGC noted: "The company didn’t have mechanisms in place to properly alert it if gamblers spent too much money in too short a time. In addition, it wasn’t properly monitoring accounts to determine if there were signs of problem gambling."

They provided a specific example in which a depositing player opened a betting account with £1.7 million (US$2 million) and lost a quarter of that amount in under a month.

Another individual continued making deposits after raising flags.

Just last week, the UKGC levied the largest fine ever against betting firm Entain: £17mn.

The agency’s CEO, Andrew Rhodes, has warned that further violations will be handed down to operators who are not taking compliance issues seriously.

- Gilbert Horowitz, Gambling911.com

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