Former New York Post writer and columnist Bart Hubbuch penned an article for Deadspin that claims Rupert Murdoch once personally spiked a story that detailed New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s ties to gambling.
Hubbuch wrote that “every word out of [NFL commissioner] Roger Goodell’s mouth about legalized sports betting for the past 20 months has been nothing but lip service,” because “Kraft is making money from casino gambling and sports betting, and the NFL knows all about it.”
Hubbuck claims he didn’t report the news while employed at the Post due to a direct order from Murdoch.
Murdoch, one of the world’s largest media moguls, is the executive chairman of both 21st Century Fox and News Corp, which controls the Post. Kraft and Murdoch both have ties to President Trump, according to New York Times findings, while Hubbuch was fired from the paper because of an anti-Trump tweet.
Hubbuch claimed he received a tip back in 2015 that Kraft had a “backdoor investment” in Caesars Entertainment, one of the world’s largest chains of casinos and sportsbooks.
“So at least since then, Goodell and the NFL’s Park Avenue office have been aware one of their owners has been flouting its zero-tolerance ban on casino ownership–a mortal-sin prohibition that dates to the league’s founding in 1920,” Hubbuch wrote.
He continued: “This couldn’t be more direct. Caesars Entertainment is an owner, stakeholder, or operator of 50 casinos and horse-racing tracks around the world, most under the Caesars, Bally’s, Harrah’s and Horseshoe brands. That lineup also features more than a dozen casinos in Nevada with sportsbooks accepting bets on NFL games.”
Kraft’s ties to Caesars are a result of being on the board of a private-equity group with a 60 percent stake in the casino chain. Hubbuch noted, “Holding that position would appear to be a clear violation of the NFL’s gambling policy” — and “Kraft began openly violating the league’s gambling policy the moment he joined Apollo’s board three years ago.”
So why didn’t Hubbuch report his findings?
“I was told that ‘Mr. Murdoch’ had ordered the story spiked. And not only was it dead, but I was angrily informed that I wasn’t to ask why, or to pursue Kraft’s casino connections any further,” Hubbuch claimed.
The NFL issued the following statement to Deadspin: “This was not an issue then and is not now due to the small investment in Apollo Global Management, a publicly traded and diversified company with assets under management of nearly $200 billion.”