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NBA’s Jordan, Cuban and Leonsis Go on a Betting Streak

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I have a tip for you. Whenever somebody substitutes the word “gaming” for “gambling,” pay attention. Casino trade groups first deployed that strategy decades ago to make their industry’s national expansion feel warmer and fuzzier to skeptics. But sports betting, craps, roulette, blackjack and the like aren’t checkers or hopscotch. Leonsis, who spent an early part of his career as a marketer before making a fortune at America Online, understands this. Legalized gambling is also good for the fortunes of his holding company, Monumental Sports & Entertainment, which, in addition to the Wizards, owns the Washington Capitals hockey franchise and other sports teams.Cuban, who is candid about the inevitability of sports gambling and the virtues of making it above board, is also comfortable with its proximity. Until last week, he had a professional gambler, Haralabos “Bob” Voulgaris, working as the Mavericks’s “director of quantitative research” and reportedly running the team’s front office. Voulgaris left the Mavericks on Sept. 23, after, he says, his contract expired.

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