Jackson's Name on Gambling Web Site
Jackson's Name on Gambling Web Site
Aug. 03, 2000
NEW YORK (AP) _ Reggie Jackson sold his name to a Web site offering casino games, but it also showed up on a second one that features gambling on sports, including baseball.
Jackson's lawyers had approved the use of his name for the first site, but said Thursday they had no knowledge that it was being used to point to the sports gambling site as well.
Major league baseball is investigating Jackson's involvement with Transworld Network SA WorldNet Casinos Inc., located in San Jose, Costa Rica, which operates the sites.
Baseball has strict anti-gambling rules, which caused all-time hits leader Pete Rose to be banned from the sport. Jackson, who recently underwent back surgery, is on the New York Yankees' payroll as an adviser and spent time with the team during spring training.
The first site _ reggiejacksoncasino.com _ features a picture of Jackson wearing pinstripes and swinging a bat. It offers games such as blackjack, bingo and roulette.
Web surfers on Thursday, however, also were able to find a hyperlink that pointed them to a second site _ placethatbet.com _ which contains a sportsbook for betting on baseball. The hyperlink read: ``Reggie Jackson Presents Place That Bet Online Casino and Sportsbook Featuring Blackjack, Roulette, Poker and More.''
Told by The Associated Press of the second site hyperlink containing Jackson's name, his attorney, Ed Blum, said: ``That will be off in a minute.''
Within hours, Jackson's name was gone from one of the pages on placethatbet.com, but remained on the hyperlink pointing to the site.
``This was done totally without Reggie's knowledge or involvement,'' he said. ``The folks we've been doing business with have violated an agreement and trust. Reggie allowed his name to be used with the express provision that a sportsbook would not be involved.
``I have made it clear that as soon as there is any illegality with the Web site, Reggie would withdraw any involvement. They have no business linking Reggie Jackson's name with a sportsbook.''
A person answering the phone at Metro Web S.A. in Costa Rica, which registered the placethatbet.com Web site, said no one was available to comment about the sites.
Blum said he had exchanged correspondence with baseball attorney Tom Ostertag regarding the reggiejacksoncasino.com Web site.
Ostertag did not immediately return two phone calls to his office. Rich Levin, a spokesman for commissioner Bud Selig, said baseball is looking into the matter.
``I understand there is a prohibition against major league baseball personnel being involved in casino operations,'' Blum said. ``There are exceptions that they refer to as `glad-handing' _ people like Willie Mays, who play golf with customers of casinos. I took the position that the exception should apply to Reggie. If it's appropriate to play golf with someone who is expected to go into the casino, it seems we're much further removed from that by simply allowing the use of his name.
``All they are doing is using his name on the Net. Since it is a legal activity, it doesn't seem to be a problem.
``If baseball asks Reggie to disassociate himself from this operation, we're out,'' Blum said. ``Reggie's only involvement is the use of his name. He is not an owner or an operator, He's made it clear that he does not want to be involved in gambling.''
Matt Merola, Jackson's agent, said Jackson's involvement with the Web site was legal.
``It has nothing to do with betting on baseball,'' he said. ``We're waiting to hear from baseball if it's OK. We have a way out and if baseball says, `Get out,' we're out.''