The father and son operators of an illegal sportsbook at a California cardroom have pled guilty to racketeering conspiracy.
Thirteen months ago, agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service and the San Diego Police Department charged 14 individuals with operating an illegal credit betting operation being run out of the Lucky Lady Casino & Card Room. The ring placed wagers on behalf of its customers with betting sites based in the UK, Costa Rica, Curacao and Hong Kong.
On Tuesday, the betting operation’s ringleader Sanders Segal and his son Sydney both pled guilty to racketeering conspiracy following a deal with prosecutors. The San Diego Union Tribune reported that the deal requires the Segals to surrender a combined $232k, their share of the estimated $1m in profits the betting ring generated between 2013 and the 2016 arrests.
Sydney Segal was a cage manager at the Lucky Lady, a position he used to commingle the gang’s betting proceeds with the card room’s legitimate earnings. Sydney was also responsible for keeping the betting operation’s books.
The Segals’ admissions of guilt were preceded by similar pleas by 10 of the other individuals charged last year. The only individuals still maintaining their innocence are David Leppo, the alleged owner of some of the sportsbook sites, and Lucky Lady owner Stanley Samuel Penn.
Penn is reportedly determined to keep the Lucky Lady’s doors open, as it’s the last such gaming venue operating in San Diego. But while the venue continues to shuffle up and deal with the state’s permission, the city has rejected Penn’s application to renew his business license, putting the Lucky Lady’s longevity in serious doubt.
California’s cardroom industry has been dealing itself too many public relations black eyes of late. In April, federal agents closed the Bicycle Hotel & Casino as part of a ‘criminal fraud’ investigation. Three other state gaming venues have been hit with six- and seven-figure fines for financial shenanigans since December 2015. Keep this up and state legislators will wonder why cardrooms deserve to be included in the list of potential online poker operators.