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Gretzky Does Have a Gambling Problem

WWW- Wayne Gretzky reportedly has lost more than an ice-cool $2 million gambling in Las Vegas casinos, where hockey’s Great One has a sky-high credit line allowing him to bet up to $25,000 per hand on blackjack and other games.

Both Gretzky and his embattled wife, actress Janet Jones, routinely gamble at the Mansion at the MGM Grand – an exclusive Sin City casino that requires guests to risk at least $250,000 over several days if they want to stay gratis in its luxurious suites.

The revelations in yesterday’s Las Vegas Review-Journal came a week after Jones was fingered as having wagered hundreds of thousands of dollars with an illegal sports-betting ring allegedly operated by Rick Tocchet, Gretzky’s assistant coach for the Phoenix Coyotes.

Tocchet, a New Jersey state trooper and a third man have been criminally charged with running the ring, whose clients are said to have included current and past pro hockey players.

Asked about his high rolling in Vegas – where he is believed to have a $1 million casino credit line – Gretzky grinned but refused to comment about it yesterday during a brief press conference.

The NHL Hall of Famer likewise stonewalled on questions about the pending betting-ring probe before he and Jones jetted off with the Team Canada hockey squad to the Winter Olympics in Turin.

“There’s nothing for me to talk about. I’m not involved,” Gretzky told a horde of more than 100 reporters at the Iceland Arena in Ontario, Canada.

“It’s been a hard week for my family, and the only questions I can answer right now are on the hockey team and getting ready for the Olympic Games.

“There’s no story about me. That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you,” said Gretzky, who is executive director of Team Canada, as well as the Coyotes’ part-owner and coach. “If you have questions about hockey, I’ll be happy to answer them all day.”

Gretzky’s lawyer, Ron Fujikawa, later issued a statement saying: “Wayne Gretzky, like millions of others, has visited Las Vegas. Any suggestion that he bets at this level is total nonsense.”

But the Review-Journal article seemed sure to keep the focus on the Gretzky family’s alleged extreme gambling habits.

Several days after it was revealed that Jones had wagered more than $500,000 with the betting ring, the actress issued a statement saying she never placed sports bets for her husband.

“Other than the occasional horse race, my husband does not bet on any sports,” said Jones, who, like Gretzky, is not accused of any crime.

The Review-Journal, which did not say how long it took Gretzky to lose the $2 million-plus, reported that he routinely wagers well below the $25,000-per-hand maximum granted him. But the newspaper said his maximum per-hand limit suggests he has a casino credit line of $1 million.

Jones normally plays blackjack at $1,000 a hand, the newspaper said, quoting casino sources.

She and Gretzky often play at the Mansion, where “whales,” extreme high rollers, gamble away from the eyes of the hoi polloi who frequent the MGM’s main casino

Also yesterday, L.A. Kings player Jeremy Roenick was to meet with his lawyers on the East Coast before submitting an affidavit to New Jersey authorities investigating the Tocchet gambling ring, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Roenick, who is a former Tocchet teammate, is believed to have bet about $100,000 with the ring, the newspaper said, quoting a source.

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