Sports Betting

‘Vegas Dave’ Oancea Receives Three-Year Casino Ban in Sports Betting Case

High-profile sports bettor and tout “Vegas Dave” Oancea has received three years’ probation and a same-length ban from Nevada’s casinos as part of the sentencing in his unusual case, in which a 19-felony indictment centered around his use of fake names and social security numbers to wager at Vegas books was reduced to a plea deal on a single misdemeanor charge of causing a violation of record keeping and procedures.

In a sentencing hearing yesterday before US District of Nevada Judge Jennifer Dorsey, Oancea received the probation and the sportsbook ban. Oancea was also ordered to undergo gambling-related treatment (which he’s likely to adhere to in a technical sense but is almost certain to ignore its intent), along with performing 150 hours of community service.

Oancea faced up 40 years in prison on the 19 felony counts with which he was originally charged. However, with the benefit of high-profile Vegas gambling lawyers David Chesnoff and Richard Schonfeld, he was able to change the case into a legal moratorium on why he was, according to his assertions, using the faked names and numbers — because Nevada’s books purportedly considered him a winning bettor and declined to take his wagers. That’s a circumstance that casinos and books around the globe have been reticent to fully defend in courtrooms, and it likely was a major factor in the plea deal being reached in January.

Once the plea deal for a misdemeanor was reached, Oancea was assured of not going to prison, and it became a matter of the length and terms of the probation that Judge Dorsey would impose. Oancea also paid $550,000 in a civil settlement in a separately filed case connected to the same illicit activity.

That Oancea is likely to undergo the gambling-behavior therapy in anything other than the most technical sense of compliance seems obvious from his “itsvegasdave” and “dave.oancea.9” accounts on Facebook, which have well over a million combined followers. Though perhaps not betting directly, as much or at all, Oancea now markets himself as a sports information consultant — a tout, in less words — and his accounts are all about that.

Oancea, who veers to the grandiose and narcisstic edge of things in his posts, also served up a 2,000-word novelette on his plea deal and sentencing. From that self-celebration:

“For the last three years, I’ve faced the biggest gamble of my life being indicted by the Federal Government on 19 felony counts carrying a potential sentence of 40+ years in federal prison. But true to who I am — a gambling man — I bet on myself and decided at that moment to stand up for my constitutional rights and to defend my freedom and innocence.

“Today, I walked out of the federal courtroom a free man with zero felonies and zero prison time.

“This was indeed the biggest gamble of my life but at the same time the best thing that has ever happened to me. Yes, that is correct, the absolute best thing that has ever happened in my life.”

Oancea took the expected shot at the casinos and books as well, writing, “This process also emphasized something I have always believed in; you can’t beat Las Vegas. Las Vegas casinos are built on losers and not winners, so you can’t truly ever win against them. When you lose they take your money when you win they not only don’t pay you, but you end up risking your life and freedom if you try to fight them. At the end of the day, I was able to do what 99% of the world could not which was to beat Las Vegas at its own game.”

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