Former NHL hockey player and assistant coach for the Phoenix Coyotes Rick Tocchet has been implicated in a gambling ring that allegedly exceeded $1.7 million in wages on Football and basketball games. According to mainstream media, it would seem that Tocchet wasn’t really aware of the seriousness of the allegations.
Wayne Gretzky’s wife Janet Jones has been named in the investigation but not charged, and newspapers have reported that she bet $500,000 during the 3 month investigation.
After listening to Wayne Gretzky’s statement, I’m confident that Wayne Gretzky is telling the truth that he has never placed a bet with the alleged gambling ring, and that he only gambles when he’s in Las Vegas and on the occasional horse race. I don’t think Gretzky would take the risk of being involved with any type of gambling since the result of him being involved would mean he would need to resign his post as Executive Director of Team Canada’s hockey team and the head coach of the Phoenix Coyotes.
But Gretzky’s statement did seem to indicate that he was worried about his wife and his friend Rick Tocchet. I’m not sure what the laws of gambling are in New Jersey, but I know that as far as the NHL is concerned, players and coaches are only forbidden from legal gambling on hockey games, but they are free to legally gamble on other sports.
I think Tocchet will get charged and get a slap on the wrist. State Trooper James Harney who allegedly operated the ring while Tocchet financed it will likely receive more than a slap on the wrist, and possibly some jail time.
Gambling is such a grey area. Gambling is legal in so many states and in so many ways. I know people who place large bets in gambling rings in Canada, and it just seems to be one of those accepted things in our society. The authorities in Canada normally turn a blind eye to it, but if the money is used to finance organized crime, I can understand why the authorities would pursue it.