Sportsbetting Scandal Threatens Future of Whole Industry

In the wake of an illegal sportsbetting scandal that Nevada Gaming Control says is still continuing, there are questions surrounding the security of legal gambling in Las Vegas.  The news is particularly disheartening because online poker has recently been legalized across the state of Nevada.  Due to the scandal, players may begin questioning the legitimacy of not only sportsbetting venues but also the new online poker sites.

In the list of 25 defendants being indicted one of the most prominent is Las Vegas sports book director Mike Colbert, who also is employed by online sportsbetting site Cantor Gaming.  Due to his connections to Cantor, Nevada Gaming Control Chief Jerry Markling says the investigation is likely to turn its attention to the sportsbetting site.

“With Mr. Colbert being in his position, it’s the logical step in our investigation to see who may have known what.”

Colbert, along with the other defendants, faces charges of corruption, illegal promotion of gambling, and money laundering.  If they are found guilty, the defendants could face as much as 25 years in prison.

Colbert has been a part of the Las Vegas sportsbetting industry for nearly 10 years, having joined Cantor Gaming as its sports book director four years ago.  Colbert worked out of the M resort which is one of the sports books Cantor operates out of Vegas.  They also run the books at the Cosmopolitan, the Venetian, Palazzo, Tropicana, Hard Rock, and the Palms.

Neither Colbert nor Cantor could be reached for comment but Cantor earlier released a statement to distance themselves from their accused employee saying he acted alone.

Other sports book operators are now trying to limit the damage to their reputations in the fallout of the scandal.  The Wynn’s John Avello says a few rogue operators should not taint the whole industry.

“There are a lot of guys here in town that have been in the business for a long time and do everything 100 percent on the up-and-up.  This shouldn’t reflect poorly on them, and I will make sure that that doesn’t happen.”

The investigation will continue as the Nevada Gaming Control operates jointly with the NYPD and the FBI.

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