It is not every day that an ordinary gambler gets to become some sort of superstar but one man who has managed to do this is Vegas Dave. A self-styled sports information consultant, Vegas is famous for cashing out large bets placed on various sports events. He is also a handicapper – someone who sells betting tips to others for a fee – as well as a sports memorabilia collector.
All these have helped him to garner a net worth of $20 million, but he remains a major point of controversy. While he has been praised for his brilliance and acumen, others have dismissed him as some sort of shady hustler who preys on sports gamblers. The man at the eye of the storm, however, couldn’t care less as he keeps living a lavish lifestyle and marketing his business on social media.
How Vegas Dave Built His $20 Million Fortune
He Has Won Over $7 Million from Betting
The primary source of Vegas Dave’s net worth is his prolific betting career. The Michigan native grew up with a natural flair for sports and placed his first bet, a $300 bet on a Titans and Raiders game; this was in 1997. He was a teenager at that time and even though the bet was unsuccessful, he didn’t quit. Vegas would continue betting from then onwards and even used the $10,000 his parents gave him for college in 2001 for that purpose. Thankfully he won big on that one and was able to double the money.
Betting remains Vegas’s primary occupation to date and he has won big on several occasions. He pocketed $2.5 million for correctly predicting that Kansas City Royals would win the World Series in 2015. He then got $2.3 million when he bet that the Denver Broncos would win Super Bowl 50 in 2016. Vegas also netted $2 million after the Atlanta Falcons won the NFC Championship in 2017.
Away from the NFL, Vegas has also won big in the UFC. He correctly predicted that underdog, Holly Holm, would upset Ronda Rousey in 2015 and won $240,000 in the process. He also pocketed $300,000 after Holm lost to Miesha Tate in 2016. It has not been all rosy for Vegas on the betting circuit though. He once lost $1 million on a UFC fight in 2016.
Vegas also Makes Money from Selling Betting Tips to Other Gamblers
Dave has positioned himself as a sports information consultant who helps people to bet successfully. Of course, such services don’t come for free and customers have to shell out different sums of money for various packages that are available on his website.
These packages range in price from $199 to as much as $1000 and thanks to Vegas’ convincing pitches, as well as his lifestyle, he has been able to convince many people to buy his services.
The Memorabilia Collector Once Sold a Mike Trout Card for $3.9 Million
Another avenue through which Vegas Dave’s net worth is growing is via the sale of sports memorabilia. The Michigan native has been a collector since his teenage years, when he bought and sold baseball cards, but relegated that path to focus on betting and gambling. He is now back to it and has made good money in the process. Vegas once sold a mint condition Michael Jordan rookie card for $18,000 in 2017.
4 million dollars. I just flipped a piece of cardboard for 3.6 million dollars in 24 months which required no manual labor. That’s more money than each of my critics will ever make working a 9-5 for 40 hours a week for 40 years for a boss they don’t like even like.Cheers haters💋 pic.twitter.com/R5VOTqJ1ld
— Dave Oancea (@itsvegasdave) August 23, 2020
Three years down the line, he sold a Mike Trout card for $922,000. Also in 2020, specifically the month of August, Vegas was able to sell a rookie Mike Trout card for a whooping sum of $3.9 million. This surpassed the record set by a 1909 T206 Honus Wagner card that fetched $3.1 million in 2016. Vegas bought the card for $400,000 in 2018. It, therefore, means that he made a profit of $3.5 million from that particular deal.
Sources of Vegas Dave’s Net worth
- Sports betting – $7.3 million
- Handicapper’s business – $1.5 million
- Sports memorabilia sales – $5 million
The Gambler Has Been Bankrupted Several Times
Vegas Dave is one man who has made money but also lost it. As a 13-year-old trading baseball cards, he made about $5,000 monthly. He then got into sports betting and used the $10,000 that his parents gave him for college to place a huge bet in 2001. That bet was successful and this gave Vegas the confidence to forge on and enjoy a winning streak that lasted for several months. The monies that Vegas made during this time should have gone towards shoring up his net worth but he blew it all and by 2002, filed for voluntary bankruptcy with his net worth dropping to about $800.
Following that bankruptcy filing, Vegas kept his head low for a while before getting back into the swing of things. He was able to rediscover his Midas touch and several of his bets won him huge sums of money over the next 7 years. He was therefore swimming in cash but once more, he failed to save and blasted away all of his money on gambling. By the time 2010 rolled around, Vegas couldn’t afford to keep up with the mortgage payments on his house and it was foreclosed. His parents also had to help him pay off some of his debts.
After that second fall from grace, Vegas Dave reinvented himself as a sports information consultant and memorabilia collector. This time around, he wasn’t just placing his own bets but was also selling betting tips to others. He also took to trading sports memorabilia and made millions in the process. Most importantly, Vegas minimized his gambling tendencies and focused on plowing back his profits into his business. This new attitude helped him to build up a healthy net worth again.
Is Vegas Dave Legitimate or a Scammer?
When it comes to the bets that Vegas places for himself, and his million-dollar wins, everything is real. The only legal issue he has had is an allegation that he used other people’s social security numbers to place wagers. This allegation dates back to 2007 and Vegas was eventually charged with 19 felonies a decade later. He reached a plea deal with the state and was found guilty of a misdemeanor. He forfeited half a million to the government and was banned from betting in Las Vegas for three years starting from 2019.
When it comes to the betting tips he sells to other people, it is a different ballgame altogether. There are allegations that his picks are not as successful as the 85% which he claims. For instance, several of his customers have claimed that they won nothing but rather kept on losing even after applying all the tips he gave them.
Vegas rarely admits such horrific loss but maintains that he only loses once in a while. It is attitudes like this that have made many of his former customers despise him with some even considering legal action.
Another shady deal that has not done any favors for Vegas’ reputation is in his memorabilia business. Back in 2017, he sold a 1996 Michael Jordan rookie card to someone for $18,000. The purchaser gladly took his card to the National Sports Collectors Convention that year only to discover it was a counterfeit. He requested a refund but Vegas refused to do so which made many criticize him.
The Bettor Spends His Money on Real Estate, Exotic Cars, and Birkin Bags
Vegas Dave is living quite a lavish life if his Instagram accounts are anything to go by. He owns several luxurious homes including a seven-bedroom villa in Cabo and a 7,000 square foot home (featuring two bedrooms) in Las Vegas. He also owns several exotic cars even though he doesn’t even like them. They include a Rolls Royce Cullinan ($325,000) and a Ferrari 488 Spider ($310,000).
The Michigan native also has a thing for Birkin bags and reportedly has a collection worth $1.3 million. He once caused a stir after he and his girlfriend were pictured in courtside seats – which costs $3,600 each – at a Lakers game with three Birkin bags resting at their foot. One of the bags was a Himalayan Diamond which was bought for $500,000. Sources have it that the bag is actually worth about $350K but Vegas shelled out 500k just in a bid to break a record as the most expensive Birkin ever.