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Queens D.A. Announces Indictments In Nationwide Sports Betting Ring

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown announces the take down of a gambling ring - Oct. 25, 2012 (credit: Marla Diamond / WCBS 880)

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown (file/credit: Marla Diamond/WCBS 880)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - An online gambling ring with alleged ties to the mob has been busted in Queens.

WCBS 880′s Marla Diamond On The Story

25 people have been indicted in the nationwide sports betting ring that had tentacles in several Las Vegas casinos, where NYPD Inspector Brian O’Neil says operatives influenced legal betting to increase payouts.

“So they would get the best line and it would, in turn, move the line either up or down, affecting how everybody else’s line would be,” he said.

Among those arrested was Michael Colbert, a prominent Las Vegas sports book director for Cantor Gaming, an affiliate of Cantor Fitzgerald.

“He had people set up in Vegas that would go to these counters, or by tablets that was provided by Cantor and place bets,” said NYPD Detective Gerard McNally. “By him putting numerous amount of money on those games, it changes the lines and he can monitor what was going off-shore as well as what was going in Vegas.”

This is the second recent major sports gambling ring taken down by Queens District Attorney Richard Brown, who says illegal internet gambling is not a victimless crime.

“Those who participate in these kinds of cases often use threats, intimidation and even physical force to collect their debts,” he told reporters on Thursday.

He said both rings had ties to the Bonanno organized crime family.

The owners of Curacao-based Pinnacle Sports, one of the worlds largest online sports betting sites, were also named in the indictment.