Las Vegas Sun

November 21, 2014

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Sports book manager arrested in probe of alleged illegal betting ring makes court appearance

Michael Colbert, a Las Vegas gaming executive arrested in what authorities allege was a nationwide illegal sports betting ring, made an initial court appearance Monday morning.

Colbert, the race and sports director for Cantor Gaming and sports book manager at the M Resort in Henderson, did not speak during the brief, procedural hearing in Las Vegas Justice Court.

His next court appearance was set for Nov. 8. Colbert remains free on $50,000 bail.

Colbert, who was arrested Wednesday, is charged with enterprise corruption, conspiracy to operate illegal gambling enterprise and three counts of money laundering. An indictment out of New York alleges he arranged for the transfer of $100,000 in gambling proceeds between Las Vegas and New York in July 2011.

More than $2.8 million in cash and casino chips were seized or secured in Las Vegas and 25 people arrested — eight from Clark County — as part of the law enforcement operation, dubbed “World Wide Wagers” by the New York Police Department’s Organized Crime Control Bureau.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board said its agents worked with New York authorities for 15 months on the case.

In their investigation, which began in 2011, the NYPD discovered a large-scale bookmaking operation, with ties to traditional organized crime, operating in several states, as well as at offshore locations, officials said.

Earlier this month, the District Attorney’s Office in Queens County, New York, presented its case to a grand jury, which returned a 259-page indictment charging 25 people with 225 counts, including enterprise corruption, money laundering, promoting gambling and conspiracy.

Colbert was one of the original employees of Cantor Gaming, which formed as an affiliate of financial services firm Cantor Fitzgerald L.P. four years ago.

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