Las Vegas Sun

July 29, 2021

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Nevada’s fledgling Internet gambling is not tied to New York bookmaking ring

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CARSON CITY — The chairman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board said the state’s fledgling Internet poker system is not tied in any way to the illegal national sports betting ring.

Chairman A.G. Burnett said the illegal bookmaking used “offshore Internet bookmaking sites, along with old fashioned bookmakers, runners and agents to accomplish its goals. Internet gaming was not involved.”

Michael L. Colbert, sports book director for Cantor Gaming in Las Vegas, was one of 25 people indicted by a New York grand jury.

Burnett said there has not been a complaint filed against the state license of Colbert.

“Colbert is in custody, and discussions with him are ongoing,” the chairman said. The state’s investigation is “going full speed” to determine Colbert’s involvement and whether anyone in the company knew or was involved in any way.”

Burnett said there is “no evidence or indication that any of the casinos that Cantor had sports books at were involved in any way.” He said Cantor is cooperating with the investigation.

State gaming investigators have been working for 15 months with New York police gathering evidence that led to the grand jury indictment, Colbert and seven others in the Las Vegas area were among the 25 indicted.

An estimated $2.8 million in cash and chips tied to the New York ring has been seized in Las Vegas.

Burnett stressed that the arrest and charges “do not involve Internet gaming such as that contemplated by our new regulations. “Without enforcement of strict regulatory standards, unlawful activities may go unabated,” he said.

“Our mandate is to ensure the integrity of gaming and the safety of the patrons, and to that end, we investigate all possible leads,” he said.

The state gaming commission has approved a number of licenses to begin Internet poker in Nevada, and officials are pushing for Congress to pass national legislation.

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