Sunday, December 22, 2013

Angry wife rats out bar's $600K Super Bowl pools because of husband's betting

This is one guy nobody at his local tavern will be buying a round for — and he might not want to be seen around — after his wife dropped a dime on the bar for running illegal Super Bowl pools.

The missus — furious with her football-obsessed husband losing money on Super Bowl  "boxes" at a New York watering hole — contacted authorities which sparked a rare gambling raid that shut down $600,000 in ­Super Bowl pools at the Staten Island bar last week, reports the N.Y. Post.

“How can the SLA allow a $1 million illegal football pool at Talk of the Town?” the angry spouse wrote the State Liquor Authority on Nov. 13. before a familiar lament:

“My husband spends all his money on these pools and not on our children.”

The SLA then put a rush investigation on the anonymous complaint and, last Sunday night, two investigators barged into the neighborhood saloon’s annual Christmas party. They flashed badges and snapped photos of pool boards taped to the mirrored bar back, witnesses told The Post.

The Talk of the Town Tavern was advised to shut down the gambling. SLA lawyers are now reviewing whether to slap the owner with violations carrying a typical fine of $2,500 for a first offense. The bar has told patrons the pools are dead and bettors will get ­refunds, sources said.

The crackdown comes as New York/New Jersey hosts the first-ever local Super Bowl on Feb 2.

The 71-year-old Talk of the Town tavern, known for its cheap drafts and sawdust-covered shuffleboard table, has been running Super Bowl pools for decades. And — like thousands of other bars in New York City and around the country — its barkeepers sell random boxes to mostly blue-collar and civil-servant patrons for six different pools.

But the innocent-sounding tradition of plunking a few bucks into a barroom Super Bowl pool to make the game more interesting violates a 1930s-era liquor law that bans any gambling in gin joints, in apparent conflict with other NY state laws that seem to allow it. And these are high stakes cash pools at the Talk of the Town where the "house" is reportedly taking 10 percent off the top.

One pool goes for $2,000 a box, bringing in a total of $200,000. Two pools are worth $100,000 each, and four are $50,000 each.

Under state liquor law, “No person licensed to sell alcoholic beverages shall suffer or permit any gambling on the licensed premises.”

“It’s really a victimless crime, but a money-making operation for the SLA,” an insider said.
“The fines are substantial considering the severity of the violation.”

But the potential winnings are big. The Post found a bar in The Bronx last year with a “5,000-point-per-box” pool — code for a $500,000 total prize at $5,000 per box.

A few years ago the infamous million-dollar Wall Street Super Bowl pool was busted —after a long annual run — when somebody blabbed and the IRS got wind of it.

That pool cost $10,000 a box. The winner took home $1million ... cash.

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