A string of arrests in Las Vegas, California and New York marks the next chapter in the sports betting industry this year. Las Vegas Cantor Gaming Sportsbook director Michael Colbert was among the 25 arrested country-wide, later released on bail, for alleged participation in what authorities describe as mob-operating illegal sports betting ring.
The really interesting part of the investigation is the arrest of three of the owners of the Curacao-based popular online sportsbook Pinnacle Sports, which stopped accepting USA players in 2007. According to reports, the case against Pinnacle is based on continuation of acceptance of wagers from USA players, while utilizing "agents" in the United States to make those wagers at the Curacao sportsbook. Confusion over the entire incident continues to reign, with mixed reports coming in from all sides. While the basic charges of money laundering and illegal sports betting are made public by the authorities, the exact scheme of how Pinnacle Sports is related and participated in the alleged mob-ran enterprise remains unknown. Also unknown is the role served by Cantor Gaming Sportsbook director Michael Colbert and his relation with Pinnacle Sports.
Rumors at this point speculate that Colbert may have laid off action at Pinnacle or that Pinnacle has continued to accept bets from USA players offline through "agents" which in turn placed the bets with the offshore sportsbook. Millions in cash have been seized by the authorities from homes of those arrested and the size of the illegal enterprise is claimed to have reached over $50 million.
According to a statement by Pinnacle Sports - it's business as usual at the sportsbook.