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April 24, 2014

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Former Cantor Gaming exec pleads guilty to role in illegal gambling ring

Image

Steve Marcus

Race and sports book director Mike Colbert poses with a wireless tablet at the M Resort on Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2010. Customers with accounts can use the tablet to place bets without standing in line. The sports book also has “In-Running” wagering during games.

Updated Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013 | 1:10 p.m.

Michael Colbert, a former director of risk management and vice president with Cantor Gaming in Las Vegas, has pleaded guilty to one felony charge of conspiracy for his role in a nationwide illegal sports betting ring that police busted last year.

Colbert, 33, entered his plea on Sept. 21 in federal court in New York after the U.S. Attorney’s Office took over the case, according to court records released Wednesday.

Colbert is accused of knowing about and allowing a New York-based illegal gambling operation known as the “Jersey Boys” to place illegal bets through the use of "runners," according to a court document filed by U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch.

Runners are people who place illegal bets on behalf of the operation.

Police arrested 25 people in October 2012 as part of the probe into the illegal bookmaking ring.

Eight people from the Las Vegas area were among those arrested. Colbert, because of his role at Cantor, was the most prominent of them.

Cantor revolutionized the sports betting industry in Nevada, with Colbert as its most visible face while at the M Resort in Henderson.

Colbert was inventive with the betting options offered by Cantor. Along with an ever-increasing slate of in-running games, for example, Cantor unveiled a fantasy-sports wagering alternative for basketball and football in 2012.

He was readily accessible to media, routinely analyzing games and betting patterns to a slew of both national and local outlets.

Colbert’s sentencing is set for Dec. 9, according to court records.

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