From Publishers Weekly
With an abundance of clichés and hubris, Budin, a bookmaker and offshore gambling pioneer, tells of his rise and inevitable fall in the world of international gambling. After learning from his father, a master bookmaker, Budin goes into the business himself, stumbling upon the idea to take his operation offshore-making it, technically, a quasi-legal enterprise as far as U.S. law is concerned. In a conversational style, Budin relates his decadent adventures in Panama and Costa Rica-sleeping with his young employees, smoking three joints a day, popping magnums of champagne like cans of soda-but he relies too often on tired phrasing and street-tough posturing. Despite all his claims of legitimacy ("We were operating in a gray area," "we always wanted to be above board"), he glorifies repeatedly the gangster mentality that typifies gambling in popular culture, lionizing his father, "this big monster in the background waiting to chew anybody up," and indulging in tales of employee intimidation: "it certainly must have seemed like we were going to kill him. I can't say that wasn't by design." Rather than examine the intricacies of offshore gambling-a story with implications in both the underworld and the corporate arena-Budin just rehashes the old clichés of bookies, broken arms and concrete shoes.
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"Some guys see the big picture. Steve Budin dreams it, and then turns it into reality." -- Brandon Lang, from his foreword
"The offshore gambling world is the Wild Frontier of the new millennium, a place where thugs and thieves, visionaries and charlatans, sling wads of cash instead of guns. Steve Budin, an entrepreneurial trailblazer, was there at the start. His revealing memoir of the industry's early days provides an illuminating (and often chilling) glimpse at the greed, amorality, and high-stakes chicanery of the international sports-betting racket." -- Michael Konik, author of The Smart Money