CHICAGO -- Investigators say Pete Rose placed at least six bets with Dominic Basso, a Chicago mob bookmaker who was convicted on gambling and conspiracy charges, even though Rose maintains he does not know the sports betting expert, a Chicago newspaper reported.
Sources close to the investigation of Rose's alleged gambling activities told the Chicago Sun-Times that John Dowd, hired by Commissioner Bart Giamatti to investigate Rose, tracked down six phone calls made by the former Cincinnati Reds star to Basso during a period of several years.
The report in the Sunday edition of the Sun-Times corroborates a statement made by former Detroit Tigers pitcher Denny McLain on his radio talk show Friday. McClain quoted former Rose associate Paul Janszen as saying Rose had Janszen place bets with a Chicago bookmaker.
Dowd's sources reportedly have told the Internal Revenue Service that Rose placed bets of more than $2,000 apiece with Basso on each of the six occasions, on a variety of sports.
It was not disclosed whether bets Rose allegedly placed with Basso were on baseball games. But Janszen said Rose once had him bet on a 1988 Atlanta Braves game in a call to a bookmaker with a 312 (Chicago) area code. He said Rose supplied a four-digit code number to place the bet.
The IRS is investigating how much Rose might have won on his gambling bets, and it may charge him with tax evasion if it discovers he did not pay taxes on money he won.
If Rose lost, it would mean Basso won money, and the IRS could use any possible tax evasion on his part as leverage to get him to talk about Rose, the Sun-Times said.