Wayne Gretzky Knew About Wife’s Gambling
Hockey great Wayne Gretzy has been caught on tape trying to make his wife’s illegal gambling charges go away.
Wayne Gretzky was recorded on a wiretap talking to the alleged financier of a gambling ring, discussing how the hockey great’s wife could avoid being implicated, a person with knowledge of the investigation told The Associated Press on Thursday. Gretzky, coach and part-owner of the Phoenix Coyotes, can be heard on wiretaps made within the past month talking about his wife with assistant coach Rick Tocchet, the person said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing.
Gretzky’s wife, actress Janet Jones, allegedly bet at least $100,000 on football games over the course of the investigation by state authorities, the person said. There is no evidence that Gretzky placed any bets, according to the person.
Authorities say from Dec. 29 through Feb. 5 — the day of the Super Bowl — bettors placed a total of $1.7 million in wagers with the ring run by a New Jersey state trooper, Tocchet and a South Jersey man. All face charges of promoting gambling, money laundering and conspiracy and are scheduled to be arraigned in Superior Court in Mount Holly on Feb. 21, the state Attorney General’s office said Thursday. Jones has not been charged.
Investigators say about a half-dozen current NHL players placed bets with the ring and are looking into whether anyone involved in the 5-year-old operation, which authorities say had a connection to organized crime in Philadelphia and southern New Jersey, wagered on NHL games. Gretzky is not the main focus of the probe, the person said
This certainly sounds serious, although it shouldn’t be. One presumes that the authorities will be more interested in testimony against the ring’s kingpins than in any of the gamblers.
What strikes me as odd, in addition to the fact that betting on sports games is criminalized, is that anyone would need to bet illegally on an NFL game since one can bet legally through Las Vegas casinos and other venues.