Michael Pepe, a resident of North Haven, Connecticut has pled guilty in federal court to two counts of operating an illegal gambling business, according to the Hartford Courant.
The 33-year old Pepe now faces up to five years in prison for his involvement in supervising a gambling ring associated to the Gambino crime family, one that took sports bets and ran card games between New Haven and Stamford, Connecticut. According to the indictment, Pepe acted as a supervisor of these bookmaking services linked to the New York-based crime family while also carrying multiple roles, including the coordination of collecting debts from bookies and passing all the profits up to the people in charge of the entire operation.
In addition to Pepe, 19 other associates of the Gambino family in Connnected were also charged with crimes for their involvement in the illegal gambling business. Some of them were accused of collecting bets and transferring them to off-shore, Internet-based gambling sites before divvying up the winnings and losses to its pool of players. Likewise, Pepe and his associates also transferred money to operators of these gambling websites. One site, in particular – 44Wager – was mentioned in the court documents.
Pepe’s guilty plea will almost certainly land him behind bars for the foreseeable future. And to add insult to his ignominious predicament – and as part of the conditions on his plea bargain deal – Pepe has signed off on forfeiting $100,000 of his own money.
Moving on to the other side of the world, lawmakers from the gambling town of Macau have finally reached a consensus on a new bill that raises the minimum age of individuals looking to enter casinos. MacauBusiness.com reports that Macau’s Legislative Assembly has voted on raising the minimum age for casino players’ entry from 18 years old to 21 years old beginning on November 1, 2012.
More than just the players, the bill will also be enforced to new casino employees and should casinos somehow violate this new bill, the legislature has announced a maximum penalty of MOP500,000 – that’s $62,500 based on current exchange rates – to casinos who allow anybody under 21 inside the gambling area.