Urlacher Receives Pardon From Trump
Just before President Donald Trump left the Oval Office for the final time, he issued a long list of pardons, including one to Casey Urlacher.
Urlacher is the brother of former Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher, and he was caught up in an illegal betting operation in 2020.
The investigation stemmed from an illegal offshore sportsbook located in Costa Rica and went under the name, “Uncle Mick Sports.” More than 1,000 gamblers signed up for the site, and the company was charged with illegally winning millions of dollars from the site.
Inside the Operation
Vincent Delgiudice was the ringleader of the operation that took place near the Chicago area. Urlacher was a local mayor at the time but got involved as one of the site leaders.
Illinois sports betting was not legal at the time in the state, and Uncle Mick Sports had not received a sports betting license. It was able to run its entire operation online but was doing so illegally.
According to the report, “Company A” provided Delgiudice and his accomplices with a website based in Costa Rica in exchange for around $10,000 per month. When detectives raided Delgiudice’s Orland Park home, they found cash, gold bars, and gambling records.
Urlacher was not found to have a large role in the illegal operation, but he did enough that evidence and charges were brought forth against him. Investigators claim that Urlacher was in charge of recruiting new customers and getting them started on the site.
The Mayor of Mettawa, Ill., also made payments to Delguidice from other bettors and helped customers raise or lower betting limits. It’s unclear how much prison time Urlacher was set to face from this crime or if he would have just been subject to hefty fines.
In March 2020, Brain Urlacher met with President Trump at the White House, ultimately leading to this pardon from the former Commander-in-Chief. The press release acknowledged Urlacher as a devoted family man and noted his previous community work and contributions.
Trying to stop illegal sports betting was one factor that helped to legalize sports betting in Illinois and grow with several new sportsbook additions.
Walters Commuted By Trump
Another big name in the sports betting industry received a commutation from President Trump and received plenty of support from professional athletes. Billy Walters was in prison for insider trading charges but convinced Trump that he had served enough time.
Walters has already spent four years in federal prison and paid more than $44 million in fines. The charge stemmed from illegal funds attached to Dean Foods, but Walters was well-known in the sports betting community.
Golfer Phil Mickelson was also tied to the initial investigation, and he wrote a letter to President Trump supporting the commutation. Mickelson reportedly received stock tips from Walters, but there was not enough evidence to charge him with a crime.
President Trump was not a huge supporter of the sports betting industry, but Joe Biden is expected to push executive branch support, which could result in expanded sports betting legislation.
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