How a small-time Vancouver bookie moved to Vegas and helped turn sports betting into a multibillion-dollar industry

How a small-time Vancouver bookie moved to Vegas and helped turn sports betting into a multibillion-dollar industry

Article brief provided by CBC News
  • Jon Azpiri, CBC News
June 25, 2022 6:31 PM
  • Jon Azpiri, CBC News

    As a young man in Vancouver in the early ’70s, Michael Roxborough was drawn to the world of gamblers. That led him to hanging out at the race track, pool halls, and the Vancouver Stock Exchange.

    Roxy, as he came to be known, worked as a bookie, taking bets on NHL and NFL games. He’d spend time at Seymour Billiards on Seymour and Nelson streets and various dives – the kind of places, he said, that still had spittoons for people who chewed tobacco.

    In those days, Roxborough couldn’t have imagined sports betting would be legal in Canada, with ads for gambling websites airing during the Stanley Cup finals.