An outsourced bookmaking operation in Costa Rica has led to the indictment of four U.S. men. Prosecutors in Brooklyn, New York, said the operation took in $900 million in wagers during the last North American football season alone.
The man identified as the principal is Gordon Mitchnick, 58, of Crestline, California. He has said he pioneered the per-head betting system. That means stateside bookmakers were charged by the number of bettors.
The District Attorney’s Office said that, according to the indictment, between April 10, 2015, and June 9, the defendants were part of an illegal enterprise headed by Mitchnick, who controlled a series of Internet sports gambling sites, including www.wagerabc.com, www.thewagerspot.com and www.hustler247.ag, all of which required password-protected access.
According to the evidence, Mitchnick bragged about being one of the first bookmakers to use that pay per head system of online-based gambling that largely replaced payments by
percentage of profits and also indicated that he was running an illegal operation.
Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson said that the gambling operation spent $200,000 a month to maintain the wire room in Costa Rica.
In addition to Mitchnick, the others indicted are Joseph Schneider, 39, of La Verne, California; Arthur Rossi, 66, of Manhattan, and Claude Ferguson, 43, also of Crestline.
The defendants are variously charged in a 57-count indictment with enterprise corruption, first-degree promoting gambling, second-degree possession of gambling records and fifth-degree conspiracy. They face up to 25 years in prison if convicted of the top count with which they are charged.
Additional arrests are expected as part of the investigation, said the District Attorney’s Office.
Having the back office activities done in Costa Rica is not new. Even several bookmaking rings in the Brooklyn and New York vicinity have had their technical operations here.