an ominous looking man wearing a hoody at a poker table

Easy money! Most of us dream of it, like getting a massive online casino sign up bonus when playing at Lucky Creek! The lucky (or is that eventually unlucky?) Robert Gorodetsky made it happen. This professional sports and casino gambler knew how to talk the talk with the $9.6 million he defrauded from his one victim, which eventually led him to walk the walk… to prison.

This is how he got there.


From hobnobbing with the likes of Scott Disick, Drake, and other rich, fab, famous and beautiful celebrities and megastars. To flaunting his wealth with fast cars, designer clothing, expensive jewelry, and exotic holidays. Robert Gorodetsky had it all.

He took the phrase ‘go big or go home’ to a whole new level with his big bet tactics. But what led to the downfall and imprisonment of someone who was once described by USA Today as the ‘future face of sports gambling’?

Robert Gorodetsky’s Early Life

Robert Gorodetsky was born in Illinois to immigrant parents from the former Soviet Union, Alexander and Natalya Gorodetsky. Being an extremely shy child, he describes himself as “a fat, Jewish kid from Chicago”.

As he got older, he displayed behavior disorders and battled to pay attention. Robert Gorodetsky’s parents, however, didn’t get him diagnosed so he could get treatment as they feared shame would be brought onto their family.

Obviously not being much of a scholar, the one thing that did interest Robert from a young age was gambling.

The Birth of Rob Gorodetsky’s Gambling Career

While attending middle school, 13 year old Robert began making money bets with other students in his school. His new found talent ultimately developed while attending New Trier High School in Winnetka. Here, he set up a ‘gambling hall’ and organized poker games with pupils. He would then take their losses and trade stock by logging into his dad’s Ameritrade account, making a profit of approximately $500,000. Once the school board learnt of the students’ losses, he got suspended.

With high school now complete, he spent one semester studying at the University of Arizona, but decided it wasn’t for him and left to become a professional poker player. $90,000 richer from winning various poker games over the years and having just turned 21, he headed off to where most gamblers try their luck – Las Vegas.

The Peak of Rob Gorodetsky’s Gambling Career

Rob Gorodetsky’s greatest passion was sports betting. He wasn’t the sort to think things through before betting, and he never considered the calculated risks. No, Robert Gorodetsky was risk taker who gained reputation in Sin City for tempting fate by putting large bets of $100,000 or more upon players or teams without conducting any prior research.

An unusual method never heard of before, although it’s believed he won 65% of the bets… Or so he said… From the horse’s mouth, Gorodetsky was once quoted as saying, “I would take my knowledge and my gut instinct and bet the best numbers”.

When it came to well-known sporting events, he played for higher stakes. He was a high roller with never ending cash it seemed. From $350,000 wagers on Sunday’s NFL games, to no less than $100,000 on MLB games. With countless grands on roulette and online Blackjack real money.

He was really ballin’! Win or lose, he did it in ‘Big Rob Style’ wearing his personalized ‘GAMBLR’ (minus the ‘e’) cap.

After a couple of years hitting the Vegas scene, his claim to fame. What would later cause his undoing, a USA Today article published on 27 December describing him as “one of the most compelling and controversial, albeit largely unknown, figures in sports.”.

Details of his exorbitant betting habits and luxurious way of living made him that much more prominent beyond gambling circles. Boosting the popularity on his ‘bigrobstyle’ social media accounts which showed him living the high life.

Robert Gorodetsky’s Downfall

The public exposure Robert “Big Rob” Gorodetsky received in the USA Today article opened up a can of worms. The Nevada Gaming Commission and the FBI decided to launch a probe into his wheelings and dealings. They discovered that in a 4 year period, dating back from 2014 to 2018, he had defrauded a backer known as Victim A out of $9.6 million.

The injured party didn’t want to reveal who they were according to court documentation, but what was disclosed is that it was an ex-girlfriend’s father who practiced as an ophthalmologist in New Jersey.

In his first 3 years living in Las Vegas, he received $953,000 from Victim A over a 4 month period which began in February 2014. The victim wanted him to invest in the stock market, unbeknown to them that $737,000 was used to sponsor Robert’s lavish lifestyle.

Robert Gorodetsky’s gambling habits needed to be supplemented constantly to keep him in the life he had become so accustomed to.

He then reached out to Victim A again in July 2014, saying his original investment had risen to $2 million. It was at this time he told Victim A sports betting could offer “greater returns”, leading to a further investment of $8.74 million from July 2014 up until November 2017.

The requests for additional funding continued until caught. He was sent to prison for 28 months, while also being ordered to pay back outstanding losses worth $7.2 million.

To Wrap Things up

There’s no doubt about it, Robert Gorodetsky was a force to be reckoned with, and for someone who himself professed not to know much about sports, relying solely on his gut instincts, he could have gone far in the sports betting world. Greed. Greed was what ruined his life.

Credit needs to be given where it’s due, so I say big ups to Big Rob who created an entire gambling empire by putting his money where his mouth is and taking big risks for bigger high stake wins!