Oct 122003
Authors: Jesse McLain

Edward Sevadjian spends Sundays glued to the television. Because

for Sevadjian, a senior studying history, there’s a lot of money on

the line and watching the Broncos is about more than supporting the

local team.

“You’re stuck in front of a TV all day,” said Sevadjian, who

places up to five different bets on any given Sunday afternoon. “I

don’t think I’d be watching any football if I didn’t place bets on

the games.”

Depending on the season, Sevadjian places bets up to $500

dollars a week and talks with his bookie on four to five separate

occasions throughout the week, although specific cases have been

more extreme.

“In a week I’ve bet over $1,000, $400 on a (single) game,”

Sevadjian said. “Hockey, baseball, football pretty much anything

that’s going on I’ll bet on, it’s always fun if you have a bet on


The world of gambling can encompass students, bookies, debt and

legal repercussions.

Since his sophomore year, when Sevadjian began placing regular

bets, he estimates his total bets amount to more than $20,000, and

he’s lost more often than he’s won.

“I win less than 50 percent of the time, I really haven’t made

money over my gambling career,” Sevadjian said. “I’ve lost a lot in

a single day and probably $1,500 in the past two years.”

Although Sevadjian doesn’t plan to continue gambling throughout

his life, he recognizes the potential for addiction.

“I don’t necessarily need to gamble, it can become addicting

though, for sure,” he said.

Sevadjian has easy access to place bets because of his personal

relationship he has with his bookie.

“My bookie happens to be a buddy of mine, so that makes things

easier- other bookie’s will break your legs if you can’t pay,”

Sevadjian said. “I’m on a running tab, basically a payment


Bookkeeping comes into gambling when a gambler places a bet not

directly with competitors but instead goes through a third party, a

bookie, in order to place a bet.

A local Fort Collins bookie, who wishes to be referred to as

Tony and remain anonymous because of possible legal repercussions,

began taking bets a little over a year ago when he saw an

opportunity present itself.

“I gambled a little bit myself, and I saw the upside to taking

the money rather than placing it,” Tony said. “There’s so much

online gambling now, people don’t know where their money’s going,

it’s easy if people can just deal with someone local.”

Tony rarely gives advice or asks questions when taking his

clients’ bets and clients range from strangers to friends.

“I don’t say anything, occasionally if it’s a friend of mine –

maybe,” Tony said. “They can be friends or just guys you find at

the bar.”

However, by the time betters get to Tony’s level of betting they

take their gambling fairly seriously.

“The average bet is $100, sometimes more, I usually talk to

(clients) four to five times a week.” Tony said. “They’re usually

pretty serious.”

Occasionally Tony will encounter situations of extreme gambling


“There are definitely some people that have issues,” Tony


Tony has even stopped taking certain clients’ bets as a result

of their problem.

“I’ve actually told people they have a problem and stopped

taking their money and told them they should go get help,” Tony

said. “Occasionally you have to stop taking it when you realize

they can’t eat.”

Tony, who currently has a client that owes $6,000, wouldn’t

comment on consequences for those who can’t pay him.

There are certain bets that Tony will not take, for instance if

a player on a particular team ever offered him a bet he would not

take it. Not getting caught is definitely a top priority.

“I’m just looking out for myself,” Tony said. “If somebody ever

came to warn me of anything I would quit immediately.”

Serious legal repercussions can develop if gambling like Tony’s

is discovered.

Penalties for gambling can range from a petty offense to a

felony, according to Eloise Camponella, press information officer

for Larimer County Sheriff’s Office.

“Bookmaking is always illegal because there is a third party

involved,” she said.

Camponella has never personally dealt with a gambling incident

and doesn’t see it as much of an issue in Fort Collins.

Addicted gamblers may not realize they have a problem or may not

know of a way to find a solution.

“Sports betting, especially if it’s illegal, wouldn’t have

access to information for help,” said Blake Morgan, a mental health

professional who works with gambling addicts through the National

Council on Problem Gambling, Inc.

Blake witnesses the similarities between gambling addiction and

other addictions.

“It’s a lot like other addictions, lots of excuses,” Morgan

said. “Most people don’t know they’re in trouble until they’re in

such hot water they don’t know how to get out of it.”




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