An Illinois butcher has been charged with illegal bookmaking.

  • Dominic Poeta is charged for unlawful sports bookkeeping and false income tax returns.
  • Poeta has been accused of crimes similar to these for over 10 years stemming back to 2007 where he was given the name “Bookie Butcher”.
  • He will be arraigned soon and could face up to 5 years for these crimes.

HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. – According to a release by the US attorney office in Chicago, a Highland Park man is now charged with illegal sports booking and knowingly falsifying tax return documents.

Dominic Poeta operated a business that offered illegal sports gambling services from 2014- 2018 both in the country and internationally.

In 2016, He reported $81,609 for his total income of the year which prosecutors allege he knew was substantially less than the amount he actually made.

Poeta’s unlawful participation in sports betting has been investigated for years when he was accused of being a part of an underground sportsbook in 2007. At the time, the federal government had been investing Adam Resnick who was a gambling addict incarcerated for a $10 million check-kiting scheme and Poeta found himself connected.

In a memoir book written by Resnick “Bust: How I Gambled and Lost a Fortune, Brought Down a Bank — and Lived to Pay for It,” there was a character who took bets at the deli he worked at and seemed very reminiscent of what the government believed was how he ran his illegal sportsbook. This is where the name “Bookie Butcher” was given to him by a Journalist from the Chicago Tribune.

To own and operate a land-based sportsbook in Illinois, you must obtain the Master Sports Wagering Licence . The fee for the license is 5% of the license holder’s handle from the last calendar year or $2,341,976.20 whichever is greater with a maximum of $10million.

Legal sports betting operators are also taxed 15% on adjusted gross revenue. To add to this, the only places that qualify for a license are casinos, racetracks, and professional sports stadiums. Local businesses cannot offer sports betting by law.

Poeta will be arraigned at a date not yet set by the federal court in Chicago. If convicted, he will be facing a maximum of three years in prison for the income tax charge and up to two years for illegal bookmaking.

Those searching for sports betting in Illinois have legal options, including the BetRivers app and website which is available throughout the state. The platform doesn’t even require in-person registration, as Governor J.B. Pritzker waved that requirement last month.

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