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Jackson Cuts Ties to Gambling Site

August 4, 2000

NEW YORK (AP) _ Angered by the unauthorized use of his name on a gambling Web site, Reggie Jackson has cut his ties to the operation.

``We have no association at all with the Web site,″ Jackson said Friday from his home in Monterrey, Calif. ``Our name was used without permission on the gaming site in reference to sports betting and we disassociated ourselves, all with the compliance of major league baseball and all with their support.″

Jackson said he spoke with Paul Beeston, baseball’s chief operating officer, and lawyer Tom Ostertag in the commissioner’s office about his involvement with the Web site reggiejacksoncasino.com.

``They had been notified several weeks ago about my involvement with casino betting and they were checking it out,″ said the Hall of Fame slugger, who sold his name for use on the site to Transworld Network SA WorldNet Casinos Inc., located in San Jose, Costa Rica.

This week, however, Jackson’s name surfaced on a related Web site, placethatbet.com, which includes a sports book.

A hyperlink was labeled ``Reggie Jackson Presents Place That Bet Online Casino and Sportsbook Featuring Blackjack, Roulette, Poker and More.″

Jackson and his lawyer, Ed Blum, learned of the second site from The Associated Press. Blum then contacted the operators and within hours Jackson name was no longer included.

However, Jackson decided to cut his ties to the first site, as well.

``I’m out of it,″ he said. ``We cut the cord and parachuted out.″

Jackson’s original agreement permitted him to withdraw his name if baseball was troubled by the association. He pulled out as soon as he learned of the link to the gambling site, before getting word from baseball to disassociate himself.

``I went to the people who have worked with us on the site,″ Blum said. ``We terminated all involvement with everything because I felt I couldn’t trust people who were forbidden to use Reggie’s name for this purpose and went ahead and did it. It was a breach of trust and our agreement.

``It’s over with. Reggie won’t have anything to do with them again.″

By late Friday afternoon, however, the reggiejacksoncasino site was still on the Web and so was the hyperlink to placethatbet.com, using Jackson’s name.

``We’re disappointed, embarrassed and humiliated,″ Jackson said. ``The misuse of my name was brought to my attention yesterday (Thursday). I don’t want any association with the word gambling.″

Baseball has strict antigambling rules, which caused career its leader Pete Rose to be banned from the sport. Jackson, who recently underwent spinal surgery, is on the New York Yankees’ payroll as an adviser and spent time with the team during spring training.

``My relationship with the Yankees and baseball is alive and well,″ Jackson said. ``I don’t want to detract from that.″

Jackson underwent surgery last week for a ruptured disc in his back. His recuperation is expected to take eight to 10 weeks.

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