When Dave Portnoy says, “F**k that guy,” people will listen.
They will especially listen when the person they are telling is highly respected in the sports betting industry.
“Sticks and stones, what have you got,” said James Salinas, the Colorado-based sports bettor, VSiN host, recreation director for the city of Denver and, most recently, the recipient of the crude complaint from Portnoy. “But he doesn’t know me, I don’t know him. I guess I’m a little more old school. If I have a problem with someone, it’s not something I’m going to go public with.
“That’s how I grew up in the neighborhood where I grew up. You had a problem with someone, met them in person and worked it out one-on-one. But it’s a whole new world of social media and it’s not something I’m going to get into.
This guy, James Salinas, is not only a respected bettor, but a public servant in Denver. I believe he’s still the town’s recreation director.
It seems “bad for business” to attempt to discredit a city official in the largest and most influential city in the state.🤨
— Captain Jack Andrews (@capjack2000) May 11, 2022
Some context is needed, clearly. If you already know the story, move on. But it’s a doozy.
Salinas appeared on VSiN on April 23, where he was asked by Brady Kannon about the NFL Draft markets, specifically that of edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeuax. Salinas then launched into a story about what happened to him when he tried to put money on Thibodeaux a week earlier at the Sportsbook Bar Stool at the Ameristar Black Hawk casino.
To summarize: Salinas approached the counter, asked about the limits and was told he could bet whatever he wanted. So he bet $3,000 on Thibodeaux at +100 to be selected as a top-five pick, and an additional $1,000 on Thibodeaux to be picked No. 2 overall at +350. Salinas said they took his money, printed the ticket, then asked for his ID.
They never gave him the ticket.
A few minutes later, tThe counter told Salinas that the $3,000 bet was capped at $800 and the $1,000 bet was reduced to $500. It gets worse: The +100 line has been moved to -129 and the +350 line has been moved to +250.
Suffice it to say, Salinas left without a bet. A few days later, Thibodeaux was selected fifth in the draft by the New York Giants.
A week later, ESPN’s David Purdum reported that the Colorado Gaming Division was investigating the incident and tweeted the applicable rules and regulations surrounding the issue.
Colorado Division of Gaming continues to review the actions taken by Barstool Sportsbook referenced above, in regards to an NFL draft bet that was allegedly canceled and then offered at various odds. The bettor filed an official complaint.
Here are the applicable state regulations: pic.twitter.com/hYxAMk34Dk
— David Payne Purdum (@DavidPurdum) May 12, 2022
In particular the language “if a ticket is issued by an operator”. The ticket was printed, but was never found in Salinas’ hands. Time will tell how this language is analyzed.
And that was pretty much it, until…
fuck this guy
“F**k that guy,” Portnoy said in reference to the Salinas incident on The Dave Portnoy Show with Eddie and Co. May 11.
“It’s the draft. There’s all kinds of inside information. Listen: That’s what — a casino is there to make money. It wasn’t a game that was just a normal line. He was literally driving around different casinos trying to get as much action on what he thought was, like, inside, or information, on the draft. So they take his license, they see it’s probably a sharp, and they want to limit it.
“It happened to me – not that I’m a sharp guy – when I was at one of their casinos. I tried to bet on NASCAR and they changed the odds and limited. He’s crying like a baby, but it happens everywhere.
Imagine for a second a top brand ambassador and the face of a Sportsbook saying “fu*k that guy” about one of the nicest individuals (@roundingagain) in industry. Quite the hill to die for and one of the reasons why the bookmaker / punter relationship is at an all time low 🤦♂️ https://t.co/HJwrDlI6Te
—Jeffrey Benson (@JeffreyBenson12) May 11, 2022
Well, that’s not really the case, apart from a few “spinning wheel” bodies. Of course there are limits, and yes, sometimes they are ridiculous. But moving the line without taking at least part of the bet? Almost unheard of.
Either way, Salinas told me he didn’t have the time or inclination to do it.
“I sat on it,” Salinas said. “I moved on. Then Brady presented the draft, and I thought about that moment and thought the floor was mine, might as well talk about what happened. Then, I moved on, but VSiN took it, dropped a snippet. I never thought it was going to get as crazy as it did on Twitter. I’m not a big player on Twitter. There’s no had no underlying covert action on my part.
Salinas said Purdum reached out, asked if it was okay if he investigated the matter further, and while Salinas had no problem with it, he was also ready – once more – to put the case behind him.
“I don’t have the time, the energy or the ability to take on all of this,” he said. “To take care of [the Colorado Division of Gaming], you have to go through this whole process, and I was like, ‘Man, I don’t have time for this stuff. I didn’t manage to bet, big problem, I move on.
“I don’t know anything about Dave Portnoy. It had nothing to do with him. I don’t know in what capacity he works for the bookmaker; now I learn more. I had no idea who he was. But then it got personal. It’s different now. It was me against sports betting, now it’s me against a guy.
Portnoy, for the record, is the founder and head of media site Barstool Sports, which is part-owned by Penn National Gaming. Penn National adopted the popular, albeit controversial, Barstool brand in launching its Barstool Sportsbook and uses Portnoy to promote it, but it has no official position to manage sports betting operations.
Salinas, meanwhile, filed a formal complaint with the Colorado Division of Gaming after learning of Portnoy’s comments.
“I think it was like, ‘Really? We’re gonna talk about this personally? You don’t know me, you don’t know anything about me. Why are you making these personal attacks?'” Salinas said. I in no way attacked it. I was talking about the book. Yeah, I had some issues with the bookmaker. My biggest point of contention was not with the limits, but the fact that they changed the price on me. It was my biggest fight ever.
One way or another
“My feeling is that you can’t have it both ways,” said Robert Walker, the longtime bookmaker now with USBookmaking. “If you think this is an event where insiders have a huge advantage – and I think it is – you only have two options. One, don’t offer it. Or two, offer it. with very low limits.
And, in fact, Portnoy himself said much the same thing later in the discussion on his podcast.
“How much does it bother you to know that you have no direct control over it?” his co-host, Eddie Farrer, asked.
“I don’t know if I would have handled this any differently if I was the casino,” Portnoy replied.
“Yeah but if it was your bookmaker I feel like you would have taken any action. Just know yourself and know the game,” Farrer countered.
Portnoy looked pained before answering.
“I mean, this guy wasn’t betting a lot, so maybe, but … the NFL Draft. Yeah, they said they would take a certain limit, but… it’s not like luck. There is information. Maybe they should have had smaller limits to begin with.
And as to what actually happened, Walker probably speaks for the entire sports betting community.
“What you can’t do is offer it at high limits and then get mad when sharp players do what they do,” Walker said. “What puts you in your place.”
Also somewhat remarkable here: it was the latest craze online sports betting who were the most aggressive in the NFL Draft prop market. Walker didn’t offer it, Approximately arrived with about 72 hours to go with a limited menu, and the super book kept its options small.
We took 32 OV/UN draft positions with dime limits, but you can shape the narrative however you want, Tim. I speak above all as a BETTER who is looking for a healthier ecosystem. Hope the Overs Club jacket your boy Davey sent you will keep you warm during the Denver winters!
—Jeffrey Benson (@JeffreyBenson12) May 11, 2022
“I’m surprised anyone is offering it at all, honestly,” Walker said.
How much more Portnoy?
And while this incident is admittedly a bit inside baseball within the playing community, it’s obviously not Portnoy’s first misstep. Penn National Gaming bought the whole farm when it partnered with Barstool Sports and showed no remorse even after a double Business Intern pieces that portrayed Portnoy as, at best, a sexual predator.
“We look forward to 100% ownership of Barstool. They have been a great partner for us,” Penn National CEO Jay Snowden said during a quarterly earnings call in February. Further he said The Wall Street Journal in March that Portnoy “will remain involved in what Penn does in sports betting”,
For better or worse, the mainstream sees Portnoy as Barstool Sportsbook, and with that comes that super-aggressive, hip-fire, damn torpedo mentality.
It’s not always pretty.
“From where I stand, I’m not going to talk about anyone personally,” Salinas said. “It was a multi-billion dollar conglomerate whose business is to take bets. I’m not yelling at the ticket writers. They had nothing to do with it. There was nothing personal about it with me.
“It bothers me, I guess,” he continued. “I don’t know – this is the time we live in. Whether you have a radio show or a TV show or Twitter or anything with a keyboard, just be critical and criticize people without knowing who they are. He doesn’t know me, I don’t know him. If I have a problem with someone, I will talk about it personally in a one-to-one setting. I won’t disparage anyone publicly, it’s not my style.
“I don’t know Portnoy, I don’t know his podcast. If he can make a living doing what he does and be successful, so much the better. But if it’s partly to put other people down and people are interested in it…I’m not going. That’s not how I operate. »