Kansas City Online Sportsbetting Probe Generates Another Guilty Plea

Liberty man admits to being an online bookie

The Grand Jury probe into online gambling in Kansas City has generated another guilty plea from a suspect.

The Kansas City Star blog reports that Charles J. Simone (24) pleaded guilty this week in federal court for his part in an online gambling operation with a website operated out of Costa Rica.

Simone gave his clients a 1-800 number and the Web site where they could place bets, and would then act as a runner, paying out or collecting money in person from the punters, presumably to obviate the need for online financial transactions.

The court was told that the online sports betting operation started up in 2006, although Simone claimed he did not become involved until late 2008, running through to the spring of 2009.

Simone is the second suspect identified by the probe to plead guilty; earlier Michael V. Badalucco (26) entered a similar plea .

The federal probe has been running for several months, and last year jailed several witnesses/suspects for refusing to testify.


Outgoing Ladbrokes chief exec expects punters to bet around GBP 750 million on soccer epic in Africa

Ladbrokes' soon-to-depart chief executive Chris Bell estimates that football fans will wager around GBP 750 million on this year's World Cup football in South Africa - a 50 percent increase on bets placed on the last World Cup epic.

Speaking to the Financial Times this week, Bell said: 'It's statistically proven that each World Cup is bigger than the last. This one will be particularly good because it's in the right time zone - South Africa is an hour ahead of the UK - so all the matches will be on TV.'

Despite his bullish predictions, Bell said that trading conditions in 2010 were generally likely to remain difficult following a tough year.

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