Pinnacle - founders arrested, compliance investigations initiated by AGCC
I didn't know how best to word this thread title so as not to cause panic...
I read this on the feeds yesterday (it was originally aired on 24th October, two days ago):
Cantor Gaming Exec Arrested In Pinnacle Sports Sweep | Legal News
(my emboldening the 'rumours' bit ^)
swirled Wednesday morning that US law enforcement agents were preparing to pounce on a major sportsbetting business with operations both inside and outside the United States, and online sportsbetting fixture Pinnacle Sports’ name was bandied about as a likely target
. Later in the day, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that Mike Colbert, Cantor Gaming’s sportsbook director and manager of the M Resort race and sportsbook had been arrested in Las Vegas on a warrant filed by the District Attorney’s office in Queens County, New York. Colbert is facing eight charges of conspiracy, money laundering and enterprise corruption.
Seven other related arrests were made in Las Vegas on Wednesday. [UPDATE: The Associated Press reports their identities as Joseph Paulk, Jerald Branca, Steven Diano, Brant England, Kelly Barsell, Ian Mandell and Paul Sexton.] The LVR-J’s sources claimed agents reportedly operating within the US on behalf of Pinnacle were also arrested, which Nevada Gaming Control Board enforcement chief Jerry Markling told the AP had occurred in California and New York. The New York DA’s office is expected to reveal more regarding the arrests on Thursday morning. Pinnacle Sports abruptly withdrew its services from the US market shortly before the Patriots-Giants Super Bowl in 2007, but Wednesday’s arrests suggest the firm had maintained some kind of credit-betting activity within the States. In highly ironic timing, Las Vegas-based brick-and-mortar casino outfit Pinnacle Entertainment chose today to release its Q3 earnings report. D’oh…
Adding an extra dose of irony, Colbert was interviewed by SportingNews.com just last week regarding New Jersey’s chances in its legal fight with the major sports leagues over the state’s sports betting plans. Regarding the leagues’ claim that sports betting damages the integrity of their games, Colbert called it “a complete façade … If you’re in the business and know what’s going on, you know that if there is ever anything close to something shady that we will be the ones that are able to point it out.” Colbert’s assertion that Cantor Gaming “will explore any and all opportunities in the race and sports business” will likely cause massive eye-rolling down at Cantor HQ. For the record, there is no indication that Cantor Gaming is in any way connected with Colbert’s arrest.
[UPDATE: The M Resort is owned by Penn National Gaming. Last week, former thoroughbred owner Michael Gill lost a lawsuit against the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission regarding Gill’s ejection from Penn National racetrack in January 2010. On Oct. 17, the Paulick Report claimed Gill “predicted a slew of federal indictments will prove that he was railroaded by Penn National ‘insiders’ who were engaging in offshore betting and other illegal activities.” The Paulick Report article goes on to state that “an FBI investigation of jockeys, jockey agents, trainers, racetrack and Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission employees will lead to as many as 42 federal indictments. The indictments, Gill said, will involve manipulation of races, offshore gambling, collusion between trainers and test barn personnel, and embezzlement.” Gill is quoted as saying that after these indictments drop, “then we’ll see if people will believe what I was saying at the time about all of the corruption at Penn National.”]
It might not be related, but around the same time Colbert was arrested, Baltimore County Police conducted raids on 10 internet café/sweepstakes businesses. While these raids might not appear to have any connection to Pinnacle or even to sports betting, the local police issued a statement that revealed it had conducted the raids in conjunction with the US Attorney’s office (which was responsible for the Blue Monday sportsbook indictments) and two federal agencies – Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security – after what the police referred to as a year-long investigation. Traditionally, these types of internet café busts don’t require more than the involvement of the local Barney Fife, so while it’s unlikely, there could be more to this than meets the eye. No arrests were made during the raids, but police are examining the evidence seized.
Initially I did a double take when I read it (Pinny went out of their way to avoid taking US clients directly to avoid the kind of nonsense that hit full tilt etc and the blue monday crowd, so should have been safe - or safer anyway)... but reading the article further seemed to imply it wasn't to do with Pinny at all... so I didn't bother posting the article (Cantor gaming isn't a site that's mentioned on TGT that much)...
Anyway now today I look at the new posts and see that someone (superdash I think) has posted a payouts item for Pinny and mentioned having a 'scare' about them.... so did a bit more checking and indeed in the last 48hrs or so there is now this:
Legal news | AGCC discussing Pinnacle case
So perhaps there is something to be concerned about... the payouts post mentions discussion of the topic here as well on SBR:
The Alderney Gambling Control Commission has announced that it will be undertaking its own investigation into licensee Pinnacle Sports Europe Limited. A release from AGCC executive director Andre Wilsenach recognized the charges brought against the company’s American namesake and stated the two are linked. “As there is an association between Pinnacle Sports and Pinnacle Sports Europe Limited, AGCC has today commenced a Special Investigation into Pinnacle Sports Europe Limited to ensure that the licensee is operating in accordance with approved operating procedures,” Wilsenach’s statement read. Pinnacle Sports Europe has been a Category 1 eGambling Licensee with the AGCC since May 2012 and has only been accepting wagers from customers in the UK. The AGCC announcement comes after a frantic day when 25 people in five states were indicted in connection with taking illegal sports bets through Pinnacle Sports between April 13, 2011 and October 18, 2012.
French regulator ARJEL and Italian regulator AAMS have met in Rome to further cement a data sharing agreement aimed at strengthening their hands in the fight against fraud and money laundering. PokerItaliaWeb.org also reported Jean-Francois Vilotte, president of ARJEL, stated that an open meeting will be held in December with Spain, Portugal and Germany to discuss them making the threesome a bona-fide gangbang.
Over in Nevada the state’s Gaming Control Board (NGCB) has released the agenda for the next meeting on November 1 with an online poker licence application from MGM Resorts Online among the issues to be discussed. Another company on the NGCB agenda is Z4Poker, who have applied for a manufacturer and service provider accreditation. It’s the first meeting since the departure of Mark Lipparelli last month and thus will be the first to be overseen by new chairman A. G. Burnett and new NGCB member Terry Johnson.
Pinnacle Sportsbook makes statement on Cantor gaming arrest
Discussion of it is here over on SBR.
Pinnacle Sportsbook makes statement on Cantor gaming arrest
Pinnacle Sportsbook (SBR rating A+) has provided SBR a statement on the recent arrest of Cantor Gaming sportsbook director Michael Colbert and 24 other individuals charged in an indictment out of New York with 250 counts of enterprise corruption, money laundering, and promoting gambling.
"Regarding the recent allegations surrounding the individuals allegedly affiliated with Pinnacle Sports, please be reassured that no Pinnacle Sports employees have been arrested or charged, and Pinnacle Sports itself was not charged in the indictment. We expect no interruptions to our day to day business activities at this time, and will continue to provide our clients the excellent value and service Pinnacle Sports has been known for." — Pinnacle Sports
If I had a lot of money in Pinny I think I would be cutting back slightly, although it could just be a storm in a teacup and lots of headless chickens running around.
Useful ESPN video news snippet:
(meh, 30 second ad... if you browse to the original here you can skip it maybe)
So based on that the issue is that a number of people have been arrested in the US / Las Vegas for running bets through Pinnacle agents despite Pinny supposed to be not accessible to US residents.
Last edited by munk; 26/10/2012 at 15:52.
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Don't we all just love the feds.
Its been coming for a while, its why we have had them at such a relatively low TGT rating for so long, see here where it was discussed a bit:
Where did you learn to do the ratings?
Having said that I dont think it is going to be a problem for the Pinnacle operation as a whole, Party got away with a large fine for them and another large fine for the owners, this will probably be similar. Party are still operating just fine. If anything once Pinnacle have that black cloud of uncertainty removed they will be much safer than before. There was a small £XXX withdrawal by me today to test how long it would take, it was recieved within 15 minutes.
Have a plan and stick to it
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thanked for this post
I don't know if it's related to this story but I received a request to validate my ID documentation yesterday - I didn't request any payout and haven't used the site in a few months now so this is apparently 'out of the blue' (but might make sense if it was something to do with these recent issues mentioned above) - has anyone else had an ID request out of the blue?
The email I got was from firstname.lastname@example.org, with the subject "Pinnacle Sports Request for Documentation Account: (my account number)" and it reads:
Dear Pinnacle Sports Client,
For identification purposes, all clients opening an account with Pinnacle Sports agree to provide Pinnacle Sports, on demand,
with the necessary documents. This request is in accordance with the Help - General Help "Proof of ID" section of our site,
and is made to meet the requirements of our regulatory bodies, the Government of Curacao and the Alderney Gambling Control ,
Please scan the following documentation and forward it to our Compliance Department at email@example.com
1) A copy of your valid Passport
2) A copy of a recent utility bill showing your name and address (bank statements are not accepted as proof of address).
Other acceptable documents for proof of address include: a utility bill, telephone bill, medical bill or medical insurance,
property receipt, lease agreement or government documentation.
Pinnacle Sports reserves the right to suspend withdrawals for any account until the required documentation is received. Once
the required information is approved, your withdrawal options will be restored.
We appreciate your cooperation.
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I had one of these. It was also out of the blue and it was also before the arrests. Strange that they don't accept bank statements.
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Cheers ganth glad it's not just me then, will have to get that sorted.
I sent my ID in and it was verified on the second go, I'd forgotten to send them the part of my water bill with my address on but once I had they verified it OK. Seems odd though that they wouldn't accept a bank statement as proof of address though - they requested two forms of ID, one for proof of name and one for address, passport or govmt ID card for the first/name and a utility bill for the proof of address: so far so normal, but the odd thing was that they explicitly said that a bank statement was not sufficient as proof of address, I would have thought a bank statement would be fairly good proof of address but hey ho... all sorted now anyway.
Last edited by munk; 15/11/2012 at 14:17.
Further update to this:
Pinnacle IP Blocks US Accounts; Nevada Sportsbook Data 1984-2011 | Gambling News
After having its good name dragged through the muck by the recent indictments of former Cantor Gaming sportsbook director Michael Colbert and other individuals in connection with an illegal sports betting ring, online sportsbook Pinnacle Sports has issued a notice to customers clarifying its stance regarding US-based sports bettors. Pinnacle publicly pulled out of the US market shortly after passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act in 2006, but Pinnacle is now “investing in technology to assure that logins into our system do not occur from undesirable jurisdictions.”
As of Nov. 19, Pinnacle “will automatically block access to our site from all IP addresses originating from within United States.” Account holders will be required to provide copies of either their passport or driver’s license as well as a copy of a utility bill under their name.
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That reminds me I haven't updated my address details with Pinnacle yet.
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