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Offshore Site Takes Bets On Hockey Scandal Verdict

Did he or didn't he? Hockey watchers can bet on whether a former hockey star engaged in illegal gambling.
Sports gamblers can make the ultimate bet on an online gambling site starting Friday--whether former hockey star Rick Toccet will be convicted or found not guilty of wrongdoing for involvement in a sports gambling ring.

Toccet, an assistant coach of the National Hockey League's Phoenix Coyotes, has been implicated in running a betting ring and is scheduled to face arraignment in a New Jersey court later this month. One person who allegedly placed bets through the ring was actress Janet Jones, the wife of hockey immortal Wayne Gretzky, who is currently the coach of the Coyotes.

"The mistake that Toccet and Janet Gretzky made was going old school," said Travis Preston of online betting site BetEagle.com, in an interview. "They should have opened an account with us and been doing this online with the same confidentiality we offer all our customers, including pro athletes, celebrities, and corporate executives."

BetEagle is located in Costa Rica and like most online gambling operations, its transactions are carried out on servers away from the U.S., where online gambling operations are illegal. Preston said BetEagle's servers are scattered around the world in locations in Central America and Europe.

"In the spirit of gaming entertainment, www.BetEagle.com posts odds on the Toccet Trial Outcome," according to a statement from BetEagle Friday. Odds are offered on the outcome of a possible trial involving Toccet. The site takes bets on NHL hockey games as well as on other sports events.

Preston said initial bets indicate gamblers believe Toccet won't get off without some sort of conviction. "Toccet is the underdog," he said. "This is a test run to set the odds."

BetEagle officials Preston and John Peters said also in a press release that many professional athletes regularly place bets through its online operation.

Toccet's attorney has said his client plans to plead not guilty to the charges. Published reports have implicated New Jersey state police officers in the ring, which is said to have connections to organized crime operations. Janet Jones said she never placed bets on behalf of her husband.