Posted on: March 24, 2023, 03:19h.
Last updated on: March 24, 2023, 03:19h.
Troubled NHL star Evander Kane claims to have placed as many as 50 bets per day with illegal bookmakers when he was in the grip of his gambling addiction.
Kane, 31, is being sued by his biggest creditor, Centennial Bank, which argues that he should not be granted Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which could allow him to renegotiate some of his debts.
The Edmonton Oilers left winger filed for bankruptcy in January 2021, claiming a total of $26.8 million in debt. That’s despite having signed a $49 million deal with the San Jose Sharks just three years earlier.
His contract was terminated with the Sharks early last year after he submitted a fake COVID-19 vaccination card.
Bookies Paid with Rolexes
In post-trial briefs filed to a San Jose bankruptcy court last week, Kane’s lawyer said the reason for the lack of documentation related the athlete’s betting was that it laregly occurred with illegal bookies.
This meant they “operated in a manner designed to elude record keeping” and their URLs changed “every two to six months,” according to the filing.
Kane would pay gambling debts with cash or by wire transfer, cashier’s check, bank draft, or even with jewelry, once paying off $75,000 debt to a bookmaker with two Rolex watches, according to court filings.
Bankruptcy law requires that insolvents keep detailed financial records, and Centennial argues that the NHL star has failed to do so.
Kane’s lawyers were keen to highlight his unprivileged upbringing in Vancouver, and his lack of education. That’s because bankruptcy courts sometimes make allowances for individuals who are financially illiterate.
“[Kane] has never taken any college or college-level courses, nor any courses or training about accounting, money management, or business development (and the NHL does not provide any financial education to its players),” they wrote. “Although Kane became a highly compensated athlete in his fourteen-year career, he was raised in a working-class family that never owned a home, struggled financially, and lived month-to-month.”
The Kane’s bankruptcy filing lists 47 creditors in total. Between 2014 and 2019, he borrowed $50 million to pay off gambling debts and previous loans. He took out 26 loans with institutional lenders, and borrowed seven times from individuals, including $1.1 million from two people described in court documents as “middlemen” for bookies.
Many of these loans were secured against Kane’s lucrative deal with the Sharks and were agreed on the assurance that repayments would be made directly from his wages. But Kane quickly revoked the automatic payments once the loans were finalized, according to Centennial Bank.
Despite earning a salary of $7 million a year, Kane’s monthly income is minus-$91,131.13, according to his bankruptcy filing. It lists seven dependents living in his home, including his parents, two uncles, and a grandmother.
Kane’s gambling first came to public attention in November 2019 when the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas sued him to recoup $500,000 in unpaid casino markers. That case was dropped in April 2020, presumably because he settled the debt.