ScAYREy Fact: Bodog Founder’s Attorney Slotnick had Not Lost a Case in 12 Years

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
ScAYREy Fact:  Bodog Founder’s Attorney Slotnick had Not Lost a Case in 12 Years

News of Bodog founder Calvin Ayre hiring the father-son tandem of Barry and Stuart Slotnick to represent him in a criminal case filed by the US Attorney’s Office in Maryland might not have resonated throughout the industry the way it should have.  Hardly any industry media outside of really reported on this story. 

Sure, son Stuart got rival Sportingbet to pay a Non-Prosecution fine to US authorities that was a mere quarter of what PartyGaming had to pay, but it is dear ‘ol dad Barry whose celebritydom in the courtroom makes for decades worth of Oscar worthy performances.

After all, Barry Slotnick went through a period of 12 years without a loss in court.

He defended everyone from New York subway shooter, Bernhard Goetz, to reputed mob boss Vincent “The Chin” Gigante.  The elder Slotnick handled matters for Sammy Davis, Jr. and Frank Sinatra.  He wrote the pre-nup for Donald Trump’s current wife and won the divorce settlement for Bryant Gumbel’s wife, June.  That settlement included $31,000 per month,  plus expenses for their two children.

“It makes you feel like you can walk on water In the federal system, the prosecutors win 90 percent of their cases, and I was winning more than they were. For 12 years, they couldn’t beat me, Barry Slotnick was once quoted as saying. 

From Nancy L. Ruhling’s interview with Barry Slotnick

Slotnick lives, eats and breathes each case, and he thrives on the so-called “impossible cases” like Goetz’. He doesn’t sleep while he’s on trial. “You have to give it every minute of attention you can,” he says. “When I’m on trial, I know of nothing else in the world. I spend my weekends writing summations. It’s my only chance. When the jury comes in and announces the verdict, it’s over. And I’m not going to blow my only chance. There is no room for a mistake.”

He’s fanatical about closing arguments, which, the way he does them, can run eight, 10, even 12 hours. That’s longer than any actor appears on stage in a live performance. “It’s all written out; I have a book that is 14 inches high, full of my words. I write it out in longhand; I never use it,” he says. “The book stays closed. I write it out because I’m concerned that someday I may blank. It hasn’t happened yet.”

Ayre is charged with money laundering and illegal gambling through the site he founded,   In recent years, the man who once graced the cover of Forbes 2006 Billionaire issue, has stepped aside to some extent, allowing others to manage the online gambling business. 

The colourful Internet entrepreneur, who just turned 50 this past summer, faces having to pay a fine some say is “relatively nominal” in the whole scheme of things.  And while the gambling charges alone probably would result in little, if any, prison time, the money laundering charges carry a sentence up to 20 years.  Ayre would be in his 70’s by the time he’d get out.  If there is one ray of bright light here, it is that the Bodog founder was not charged with bank fraud.  Had he been, Ayre would be looking at another maximum 20 years of sentencing. 

The good news for Calvin is that another industry exec, Gary Kaplan, was charged with essentially the same crimes, plus about a dozen other smaller charges such as mail fraud.  Kaplan, who founded the once largest sports betting company, publicly traded BetOnSports, served approximately one year behind bars, though he was held for nearly three years while awaiting trial.  His defense counsel included another big name in the world of legal superstars, Alan Dershowitz. 

When considering Slotnick’s past courtroom success rate, the odds of this case heading to trial seem especially long.  What US prosecutor in his or her right mind would want to risk their career going up against the likes of a Barry Slotnick, or his son for that matter, and even worse, a combination of both. 

- Chris Costigan, Publisher

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