Canadian Man Sentenced in Illegal Sports Betting Case
David Hair, a 50-year-old Ontario man, was sentenced to three years in prison and a $3 million fine for his role in organizing a massive, but illegal, Canadian sports betting ring. Hair was the head of the Platinum Sportsbook (Platinum SB) a pay-per-head (or credit betting) site that had hundreds of players and earned tens of millions of dollars during a period between 2009 and 2013.
Platinum SB employed the services of a Costa Rican based pay-per-head operation to set lines and process wagers. Meanwhile, back home in Canada, Hair and his associates used more traditional means to collect from, and pay off, their players. In court filings, it was alleged that Platinum SB used members of the Hells Angels motorcycle gang as muscle to insure that everyone paid on time.
Hair’s operation served players across Canada and, as is often the case, served up a variety of ancillary stories that emerged once the jig was up. For example, one Platinum SB player, who also worked at a Toronto bank, served a two-year jail sentence for embezzling millions from his employer that he used on sports betting at Platinum SB.
Platinum SB’s golden run came to an end in 2013 when police arrested Hair and 20 others at a Super Bowl party for the operation’s top players. Along with Hair, police arrested two men with deep ties the Hells Angels at the party. One of the men, Billy Miller, was sentenced to 15 months in prison for his role in the operation.
While some forms of sports betting are legal in Canada, unlicensed operations such as Platinum SB are illegal pretty much everywhere.