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Local News

Host of BetMGM podcast illegally obtained player data from MGM

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Dana Gentry, Nevada Current
January 31, 2024

When MGM Resorts surveillance employee Joseph Tatonetti got caught providing confidential player information to sports bettor Bill Krackomberger in 2019, Tatonetti lost his job. 

Krackomberger, on the other hand, got a spot on a podcast called Countdown to Kickoff Presented by BetMGM on FOX Sports Radio. BetMGM is the casino conglomerate’s interactive gaming arm that is licensed in 23 states, including Nevada. 

“He is a bad guy and should not be working in the gaming industry,” MGM Resorts International general counsel John McManus said of Tatonetti in a 2019 text to professional gambler R.J. Cipriani, after the two set up a sting operation to catch Tatonetti in the act of sharing Cipriani’s player data with Krackomberger. “I have less than zero sympathy for surveillance guy. … And your friend (Krackomberger) is not a sympathetic person either.” 

McManus did not respond to inquiries about BetMGM’s business relationship with Krackomberger.

A spokesman for MGM Resorts International says McManus reported the breach of player data to the Nevada Gaming Control Board, which apparently took no action. Tatonetti says he’s never been contacted by law enforcement, and has had no issues obtaining employment. 

The GCB was chaired at the time by Sandra Douglass Morgan, an attorney who previously represented the MGM and is now president of the Las Vegas Raiders. Allegiant Stadium, home of the Raiders, is hosting the Super Bowl next week. 

On his podcast, Krackomberger advertises the betting line on BetMGM and interviews the company’s sports betting executives about games of the day. Last Sunday, Krackomberger suggested sports books were looking for heavy action on the Kansas City Chiefs – up to $200,000 a bet. 

Krackomberger did not respond to numerous requests for comment. 

Cipriani says before Tatonetti and Krackomberger were exposed, Krackomberger “offered multiple times to get into players’ accounts for me. I said ‘for what?’ He said, ‘Well, whatever you want to find out. I got a guy on the inside. He can find out anything you want to know.’ He told me he was getting people to open offshore betting accounts so he could move lines,” a reference to the practice of betting enough money on one side to affect a bookmaker’s odds.   

The Nevada Gaming Control Board has urged Attorney General Merrick Garland to crack down on access to offshore betting.

“Offshore operators who offer their products into these highly-regulated state jurisdictions are doing so in contravention of not only state laws, but federal law,” says a letter to Garland signed by top regulators in New Jersey, Michigan, Illinois, Colorado, Mississippi, and Louisiana, in addition to Nevada. 

Regulators point out illegal gambling operations don’t invest in responsible gambling programs, and don’t pay taxes. They don’t protect minors via age verification, take steps to prevent money-laundering, or guarantee fair payouts

Last week, the Dept. of Justice announced MGM agreed to pay a $7.45 million fine as part of a non-prosecution agreement for a breach of federal anti-money laundering regulations involving illegal sports bookmaker Wayne Nix.  

BetMGM is co-owned by MGM Resorts International and Entain, which has endured its own regulatory challenges

Nevada Current is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Nevada Current maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Hugh Jackson for questions: info@nevadacurrent.com. Follow Nevada Current on Facebook and Twitter.

This article is republished from Nevada Current under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.