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New York City Bookies – Manhattan Bookies – Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx and the Mob

Written by:
Aaron Goldstein
Published on:
Aug/19/2014
New York City Bookies – Manhattan Bookies – Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx and the Mob

New York City is the biggest city in the USA and one of the most visited in the world.  It shouldn’t surprise anyone that bookies thrive here. 


But it is also here that one will find some of the most notorious crime families spread out across New Jersey, New York State, Connecticut, Manhattan and the other five boroughs (Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, The Bronx and…..South Florida).  As one might expect, local law enforcement has cracked down especially hard on the local bookies over the past decade.

Two years ago, ESPN Magazine featured an amazing piece on a New York City bookie by the name of Floyd Fielding (probably not his real name).

In that piece, Fielding discusses his treacherous start as a bookie without the support of offshore per head shops that dominate the scene today.

A nightmare: That's how he describes his first five months as a bookie. In his years of gambling, he'd seen runs of bad luck before. But not this bad. In 20 weeks, he was down $50,000. These days that would sting, but he wouldn't panic. He wouldn't have the sleepless nights he did then. But the old guy kept assuring him everything would be okay. Kept loaning him money, interest-free, to stay afloat. "I was already nervous about starting out on my own," he says. "Then I find myself in a world of trouble." He didn't fold, kept taking action from his office in his parents' basement. By Week 8 of the NFL season, he'd made it all back.

Still, those early years were tedious. "Starting out, you have to deal with some scum," says Fielding. "And in this business, if you haven't hit a few people ... " He tells of one unsavory client who'd been avoiding him. Spying the guy at a Queens bar one evening, Fielding called up some muscle and waited. When his client went to the bathroom, Fielding steered him out the back door instead. "I was doing all the hitting," he says. "My big guy was there just in case my client decided to hit back."

New York State does make bookmaking a felony while wagering on sporting events is considered a simple felony.

Arrests of bookies usually involve some type of Mob connection or extensive highly sophisticated betting rings taking in more than a million dollars per year. If you are a small fry on the corner (or the office) with a few dozen clients, you can probably fogetaboutit when it comes to having law enforcement come knocking on your door.

The types of cases New York City and federal authorities operating out of this region mount are those typically tied to other criminal activities such as racketeering and money laundering. 

Those cases read along the lines of something like this:

“FBI agents, along with NYPD, state police and U.S. Marshals conducted raids that began in the early morning hours. 

“In total, 127 people were charged in 16 indictments unsealed today in four districts in New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced at a news briefing this morning.

“Federal charges range from illegal gambling and racketeering to extortion, narcotics trafficking and murder, said Holder, who flew to New York from Washington to discuss the historic bust.”

That was a high profile case that occurred just two years ago in 2012.

So you wanna still be a New York City bookie?

May want to think twice....just sayin'

- Aaron Goldstein, Gambling911.com

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