Daily Beast: Cantor Gaming CEO Lee Amaitis 'Bromance' With Billy Walters Lead to Probe

Written by:
Alejandro Botticelli
Published on:
Jan/22/2014
Daily Beast: Cantor Gaming CEO Lee Amaitis 'Bromance' With Billy Walters Lead to

Following news last week that CG Technology, formerly Cantor Gaming, having settled with the Nevada Gaming Control Board for $5.5 million following an 18-page complaint lodged against that company, the Daily Beast speculated as to why CEO Lee Amaitis remains at the helm.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board complaint alleges that Amaitis should have known company vice president Michael Colbert was  acting as an agent in a nationwide illegal betting operation.  Colbert was indicted in late 2012.  Colbert has since plead guilty to a single felony charge of conspiracy.  No charges were ever filed against Amaitis.

The Daily Beast takes things a step forward, suggesting that Amaitis’ past behavior may have prompted the US Feds to begin investigating Colbert and his affiliates.

From the Daily Beast:

Viewers of a 2011 60 Minutes segment saw Amaitis gush about his relationship with legendary sports bettor Billy Walters. Their chumminess raised the suspicions of Gaming Control Board investigators, the IRS criminal division, and other law enforcement offices that had long had Walters on their radar. (Although indicted more than once, Walters has never been convicted of a felony and in Nevada is well known as a golf course developer and philanthropist. He has not been publicly associated with the Cantor scandal.)

Amaitis was so politically tone deaf that he apparently believed his bromance with Walters wouldn’t invite law enforcement scrutiny. But, in short order, the Las Vegas office of the IRS criminal division teamed up with casino regulatory investigators to pursue Walters for using intermediaries known as messenger bettors to place his wagers. (A messenger bettor is a person who places a wager for the benefit of another for compensation.) That case resulted in one arrest but later stalled.

By then, however, investigators were well aware of the wiseguys working out of Cantor’s sports book at the M Resort, where millions in bets were transacted.

John L. Smith, who penned the Daily Beast piece, also questions why the Gaming Control Board has yet to fine the Las Vegas Sands. 

That company, run by online gambling zealot and billionaire Sheldon Adelson, paid the U.S. government a fine of $47.4 million to settle a federal money laundering investigation with ties to the Sinaloa drug cartel and reputed methamphetamine master Zhenli Ye Gon, Smith notes.

- Alejandro Botticelli, Gambling911.com

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