The Thomas Vanek gambling story just took an interesting turn. A bookmaker who pleaded guilty to laundering money has released some details regarding the case through his lawyer. The bookie pleaded guilty to laundering a $230,000 payment, one which was made with a New York Islanders check endorsed by Vanek, and discussed that the payment only covered a small portion of the debt owed by the gambler. That debt is believed to have been over $1 million, as seen in the Democrat and Chronicle.
Vanek admitted that he endorsed the $230,000 payment to cover bets he made on football. A report from the Star Tribune indicates Vanek claims he never bet on hockey, but that he’s not proud of the decisions he has made.
Vanek’s agent, Steve Bartlett, commented on the situation:
“If you read it quickly or you listen to [the lawyer’s] comments, it almost alludes to the fact that Thomas Vanek was involved in money laundering, which is totally false. He is not the subject of any investigation or criminal charges or anything whatsoever. He was a witness against this guy who was the bookmaker. He was the guy that wanted money, and Thomas paid it to him. Thomas wasn’t involved in any bookmaking activities.”
Based on what has been released, it doesn’t sound like Vanek is going to be charged nor does it sound like there’s any evidence suggesting he bet on hockey. Still, Vanek admits that he got “caught up” in gambling, he made mistakes which had a negative impact on his family and that he’s no longer betting.