Owner Among Those Charged in Betting Bust

A Thoroughbred owner has been indicted in a probe into illegal off-shore gambling.

Owner Andrew Berg, who races horses with partner Joseph Taub under the name Gumpster Stables, had his license revoked Oct. 21 by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board after he was indicted along with 29 other individuals and one corporation in the bust of an illegal multimillion-dollar off-shore sports betting operation.

Berg, 48, a resident of Roslyn, N.Y., was listed as one of the alleged “agents/runners” in the alleged scheme linked to both the Gambino and Genovese crime families. According to a release issued by the Queens District, N.Y., Attorney’s Office, those indicted are accused of unlawfully operating a sports-betting ring that stretched from Queens County to Nevada and from Rochester to Florida, and are charged with enterprise corruption, promoting gambling, and money laundering.

The ring allegedly took in more than $567 million in a 28-month period, accepting wagers on various sporting events like professional football, basketball, hockey, and baseball. The process leading to the 131-page indictment began in September 2006 when detectives from the New York Police Dept. Organized Crime Investigation Division began a 38-month investigation with the District Attorney’s Organized Crime and Rackets Bureau known as “Operation Betting It All.”

Berg, who was arrested following the indictment, has since been released and is scheduled to appear Nov. 19 in Queens Criminal Court, according to a spokeswoman with the Queens District Attorney’s Office. If convicted, he faces up to 25 years in prison. Reached Oct. 28, Berg declined comment on the matter.

Berg, who had horses with trainers Scott Lake, Mike Gorham, Ralph D’Alessandro, Gary Sciacca, and Mike Reavis at various locations—including Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack; tracks run by the New York Racing Association; Philadelphia Park Casino & Racetrack; and Hawthorne Race Course—was ordered to remove his runners from the grounds of the New York tracks, NYSRWB spokesman Joe Mahoney said.

“He surrendered his license at our request, was told to remove his horses from Belmont and Aqueduct, and is in the process of doing so,” Mahoney said. “He has no racing privileges in New York. We will scrutinize any and all transactions involving those horses, and if he tries to sell them, we’ll make sure they’re legitimate sales before those horses may be entered to race.”

Finger Lakes president and general manager Christian Riegle said Berg’s horses were already off the grounds of the Farmington, N.Y., facility.

“When we heard about what had occurred, we asked his trainer to move the horses and they were removed within two days,” Riegle said. “Whenever you get somebody there’s a question about like this—if they have a character issue, I don’t want them at my track.”

The matter was still pending at tracks like Philly Park and Meadowlands. Trainer Scott Lake said he had one runner stabled at Philly Park under Berg’s stable name and had not been asked to remove the horse from the grounds as of Oct. 27. And a runner trained by Bruce Levine, Call Me Now, was scheduled to start Oct. 29 at Meadowlands.

At Hawthorne Race Course in Stickney, Ill., where two horses owned by Gumpster were in training with Reavis, stewards planned to file a ruling Oct. 29 suspending or revoking the entity’s ownership license.