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Feds Raid Home of Offshore Sportsbook Owner, Husband of Costa Rica Super Model

Written by:
Jagajeet Chiba
Published on:
Jul/24/2021

The founder of a popular long established offshore sportsbook had his Florida home raided by the Feds this week, the Sun Sentinel Reported.

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Gary Austin Ran Tout Services, Sportsbooks in Costa Rica, Before That, Vegas

Clarence "Gary" Austin, who previously resided in Las Vegas, ran one of the first and most successful offshore sportsbooks, Tradewinds, a precursor to JustBet (now owned by the Bookmaker Group).

Before arriving in Costa Rica, Austin was a sports tout (or handicapper).  He would later start Gary Austin’s Sportsbook on Las Vegas BLVD across the street from Caesars Palace.

Federal agents seized almost $4.3 million in cash, 61 gold bars, five luxury cars and a Miami Heat championship ring, according to federal court documents.

According to documents filed in a Texas federal court, “Austin’s illegal Internet gambling enterprise has produced in excess of $34 million in illegal proceeds during its operation.”

In fact, they argue, all of his money comes from illegal activity: “Austin has no legitimate income except a monthly Social Security check he receives.”

No criminal charges were brought against Austin, the one-time husband of Costa Rica super model Lynda Diaz.

Lynda-Diaz.jpg

A Notorious Past

While Austin's offshore sportsbooks tended to have a decent enough reputation, he could never quite shake his dark past. 

It has always been rumored that Austin was down big on the St. Louis Cardinals to win Game 6 of the 1985 World Series.  That didn't happen and Austin's Vegas sportsbook was robbed a few days later.

From OnlineBetting.com:

Many speculate the Cardinals losing Game 6 left Gary Austin broke. Perhaps lucky for him his sportsbook was robbed a few days later. A testimony to how things worked in Las Vegas at the time, this robbery was largely unreported by the media. It wasn’t until after his sportsbook closed on November 9, 1985 and weeks of complaints to anyone and everyone who would listen that the media finally covered it. The source that started the reporting frenzy was the Los Angeles Times who on November 24, 1985 published an article questioning what happened to the money in the phone in accounts. This article stated “Austin’s closed Nov. 9 after a lone bandit robbed it of an estimated $267,000 in cash, much of it from wagers made on that weekend’s football games.” And then concluded with “Although owner Gary Austin had taken in a reported $1 million in phone account deposits, he closed the book after the robbery, apparently unable to pay.”

Austin’s attorney, Howard Schumacher, said Wednesday that it is “too early to say at this point” if charges are imminent and it is premature to comment about the case.

- Jagajeet Chiba, Gambling911.com

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