A massive Chicago-area gambling ring that involved Casey Urlacher reached the Illinois State University campus, according to prosecutors.
In a court memo last week, Assistant US Attorney Terry Kinney made a case for Matthew Namoff, 25, to serve prison time. Namoff, a student at the university at the time, has a sentencing date set for Aug. 23.
Kinney wrote in the memo via the Chicago Sun-Times:
“Matthew Namoff played an important role in DelGiudice’s illicit business — as an agent, he ran DelGiudice’s bookmaking operation on a college campus, which facilitated gambling by underage students.
“Of particular significance in considering the seriousness of the offense is the fact that Namoff ran this illegal operation at a college campus. This was a sophisticated and professional operation that Namoff managed.”
Darryl Goldberg, Namoff’s defense attorney, wrote in a different memo that Namoff had difficulty making friends and made small bets with peers as a way to bond with them. Contrarily, Kinney wrote that Namoff was a “deep-pockets” gambler.
What’s the latest with other Uncle Mick Sports defendants?
The illegal gambling ring, known as “Uncle Mick Sports,” was a long-term, multi-million dollar operation. Vincent DelGiudice led Uncle Mick Sports. He has already pleaded guilty but has not yet been sentenced.
Prosecutors doled out the first prison sentence of the case in July.
Nicholas Stella, a former Chicago police officer, received 15 months in prison. Stella also committed “repeated domestic batteries” against his girlfriend in addition to his role as an agent in the scheme.
One person who did not receive any punishment was Urlacher, the brother of former Bears legend Brian Urlacher. Outgoing President Donald J. Trump fully pardoned the younger Urlacher in one of his final acts in office.
Urlacher has since been re-elected the mayor of Mettawa, Illinois, while some of his former peers are receiving prison sentences.
In total, there are 10 defendants in the case. Only Stella has gotten prison time thus far, but there are more court dates to come.
It looks like there is a chance that Namoff will be the second.
Why Illinois State presence in this case is such a problem
Illegal gambling in any form is problematic, but it’s especially troubling when it involves minors.
You must be at least 21 years old in order to legally bet on sports in Illinois. Obviously, if there is a significant illegal gambling ring presence on a college campus, plenty of underage people are likely involved. A typical college student turns 21 sometime during their junior year.
And because they are students, they likely don’t have very much money to responsibly gamble with, if any. There is already massive student debt in the US.
Legal Illinois sportsbooks ensure that all users are at least 21 years old. People must provide identification and the last four digits of their Social Security number in order to sign up.