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Pro sports bettor Spanky has claimed on X that the DraftKings extortion lawsuit’s plaintiff failed to pay back winnings owed to him following joint participation in a betting scheme.

Famous sports betting influencer Gadoon “Spanky” Kyrollos was named in court documents as being part of an extortion plot involving sports betting giant DraftKings.

The filings accused DraftKings of leaking confidential information to Spanky as part of the scheme, which allegedly led to a masked man threatening the anonymous plaintiff’s life for $500,000 owed.

DraftKings strongly denies the allegations, arguing in a statement provided to NEXT.io that the complaint is full of inaccuracies and baseless allegations.

The company’s share price fell more than 5% to $38.00 after NEXT.io first reported the existence of the complaint, wiping out nearly $1bn in shareholder value.

It is uncertain to what extent the controversy drove the drop, as the company’s share price had already been declining in the previous days.

The news has been widely reported since NEXT.io broke the story, including by mainstream news outlets.

Spanky tells his side of the story

Spanky took to X yesterday (25 June) to outline his side of the story, naming the case’s attorney Steven Jacobs as the plaintiff.

NEXT.io understands the details of Spanky’s statement to be in dispute.

In his statement, the sports betting influencer detailed a scheme that saw him and his associate Oscar Jones place bets using Jacobs’ DraftKings account, to evade an existing ban on his own account.

The partnership, the existence of which is denied in the complaint, allegedly saw Spanky use Jacobs’ status as a “whale” to exploit higher betting limits.

Spanky’s associate Jones reportedly gave the suit’s alleged plaintiff Jacobs $82,375 to get the partnership started.

The partnership then prospered with Jacobs winning a “substantial” amount of money through it, according to Spanky.

Spanky claimed that Jacobs refused to repay winnings at the end of the scheme two months later, telling his alleged partners DraftKings had requested him to sign an “affidavit of eligibility”.

Jacobs was then allegedly urged to contact the New York State Gaming Commission to lodge a complaint and had BCC’d Jones to prove it had been filed.

Spanky claims to bluff DraftKings contacts

According to Spanky, after a month Jacobs claimed he had not heard a response from the regulator, which led to his partners getting suspicious.

Spanky said: “My strategy of following up on my suspicion was a test for Steve Jacobs. I told him — bluffing —  that I had the ability to receive information on the status of the payout from DK (I obviously do not have that power, nor am I connected with anyone who does have that power, given I am banned from betting at DK!)

“I wanted to gauge Steve’s response to my bluff; in particular, I was hopeful that if he was doing something wrong, that this bluff might encourage him to fess up. Steve maintained that DK was holding up his withdrawal request, and that he was waiting on a response to a complaint he filed with the New York Gaming Board.”

Jones, said Spanky, then had the idea to file a freedom of information request under New York law to request a copy of the complaint filed against DraftKings.

However, the sports betting influencer said that the request uncovered that Jacobs had immediately sent a second email claiming the first was sent in error.

Spanky attached a copy of the email obtained through the request to his statement.

The letter states the initial email was sent in error as part of a training model in his day-to-day work as a gaming lawyer.

While the letter does seem to support Spanky’s statements, it should be noted that identifying information has been redacted, so it cannot be definitively linked to Jacobs.

Spanky also claimed he spoke to Jacobs, who allegedly admitted he owed over $1m to other people.

He highlighted a March 2023 lawsuit which he settled with a plaintiff named Jonathan Bronsan for $270,814.

Spanky added that Jacobs is involved in multiple other lawsuits, featuring claims for hundreds of thousands of dollars on both sides.

He said: “I never threatened Steve nor sent a “masked man” to threaten him; however, given that Steve Jacobs owes over a million dollars ($1,000,000.00) to so many people, his claims don’t surprise me.

“I never received any information from anyone at DraftKings about Steve Jacobs. [Freedom of Information law] was all we needed to prove this guy to be a shyster.”

Jones files in legal challenge against Jacobs

Court records show that Jones previously filed a legal challenge against Jacobs in April 2023 for $445,071.59

It should be noted this figure is close to the $500,000 that Jacobs was allegedly threatened over in his complaint.

The case, which was filed in New York County, argues the affidavit of eligibility did not exist and was created by Jacobs.

It also states on “information and belief” that DraftKings had no issue processing the withdrawal request.

In a motion to dismiss, Jacobs argued Jones himself admitted to violating federal laws.

He said: “Jones… is an extraordinarily sophisticated and predatory professional bettor, who is sufficiently shrewd to allegedly beat DraftKings out of hundreds of thousands of dollars in three months.”

The judge agreed with Jacobs’ argument and dismissed the case, ordering Jones to pay attorney fees.

She also ordered Jones to pay Jacobs $250,000 for violating a signed agreement between the two, mandating he not sue him.

Jones is currently attempting to appeal the case.

Spanky was not mentioned in the Jones suit, despite being named as a known associate in Jacobs’ complaint.

Jacobs declined to comment when contacted.

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