Evander Kane Says He Borrowed $50 Million To Feed Gambling Habit

Embattled NHL star Evander Kane has made his final shot for bankruptcy. In a pre-trial brief of a lawsuit brought by his largest creditor, Centennial Bank, to stop the bankruptcy, the Edmonton Oilers left winger says he sometimes gambled more than 50 times a day and borrowed more than $50 million to feed his habit.

The former San Jose Shark has liabilities of more than $26 million, which is why he filed for bankruptcy in 2021. Kane must convince the court that significant circumstances caused him to go into severe debt. If his bankruptcy request goes through, he could potentially get out of several lawsuits involving millions of dollars.

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The brief said Kane’s upbringing played a significant part in his bad decisions

“Kane was raised on the east side of Vancouver, which at the time was a lower-class area of the city. His mother, Sheri, was a stay-at-home mom when Kane and his sisters were growing up because they could not afford day care.”

Kane was drafted in 2009 by the Atlanta Thrashers (which became the Winnipeg Jets) fresh out of high school.

“He has never taken any college or college-level courses, nor any courses or training about accounting, money management or business development.” 

Growing up, Kane’s family never owned a home and was always struggling financially, the brief said. Because of that, Kane lacked the skills necessary to responsibly manage his money once it started coming in.

According to bankruptcy laws, debtors are required to keep accurate financial records. It makes exceptions for people who are not considered “sophisticated.” That is why the information about his upbringing was in the brief.

Kane’s addiction to gambling began soon after signing his first major contract

Kane said he misplaced a lot of his records, including details on his gambling losses. In the brief, it says his gambling addiction began in 2012 when he signed his first major contract with the Jets. 

Soon after that, Kane’s debts began to quickly add up. There was an NHL lockout, so he had time to gamble but was not seeing the millions of dollars come in to cover his losses. Eventually, things got out of control. Kane was unsure how he was going to support his family, the brief said.

“He viewed gambling as a way to make money quick.”

Kane said most of his losses came from placing bets with bookies. Once he was in a hole, he would pay his bookies with cash, bank transfers, drafts and even with jewelry. On one occasion, he paid his debt with two Rolex watches

In a five-year span between 2014 and 2019, Kane borrowed over $50 million to pay off gambling debts, loans and expenses. He borrowed from 26 different institutional lenders and from seven people. 

Centennial Bank said it is owed over $8 million from Kane. Hope Parker is a co-plaintiff alongside Centennial Bank and claims that Kane owes her over $2 million due to an agreement for her to have an abortion. 

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