Jay Sharon, a professional poker player, finished 116th last year in the WSOP Main Event. His position in that poker event is good enough to land him $46,890. However, recently, a district attorney from Queens has filed charges against Sharon for illegal bookmaking. This will result in him needing more money than his winnings to pay for his legal fees.
The professional poker player is now facing strict penalty after having allegedly been serving as an illegal bookmaker. Apparently, prosecutors say that there were seven others who, along with Sharon, have been taking bets on sporting events.
In the United States, sports betting is only legal in the State of Nevada at duly licensed and highly regulated sports books. Bookmakers who take wagers as an individual are illegal.
In recent years, Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey has been pushing sports betting to be legalized in his state. The bill almost passed last year and stopped only within the last minute.
"Across the country, this group operated an illegal sports betting ring with impunity," New York City Police Department Commissioner William Bratton said in the release. "Today, the house won with the arrest of eight defendants in and around Queens."
The investigation over the illegal bookmaking was not accomplished in just a single day, as lengthy investigation was needed to make any charges. NYPD's Organized Crime Division took 16 months to gather enough information and evidence before they finally made an arrest.
Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said that the accused conspired in order to make money illegally by means of unlawful gambling. Their operations took place in Queens, New York where they accepted bets through gambling websites offshore, or through a toll-free number.
Atty. Brown said that Sharon was the ringleader and that all the money was being "funneled to him." Sharon served as "the bookmaker who controlled and oversaw the entire operation."
The defendant and his accomplices currently await trial.