Upstate New York Bookies In the Line of Fire: Rochester, Buffalo, Syracuse, Albany

Written by:
Aaron Goldstein
Published on:
Upstate New York Bookies In the Line of Fire: Rochester, Buffalo, Syracuse, Alba

If you are a bookie doing business in upstate New York, better be careful.  Local law enforcement in that region from Rochester to Albany have been quite aggressive in recent years when it comes to quashing what it deems to be illegal sports betting rings.


We’d be remiss in pointing out that most, if not all of these operations, have had ties to what authorities claim are multi-million dollar betting businesses based primarily offshore.  Still, the fact that two corrections officers managed to get entangled in a billion dollar ring where the primary charges were out of Oklahoma City and Florida speak volumes as to how the so-called “little guy” can get caught up in something much grander.

Last year, investigators charged Albany correction officers, 44-year-old Timothy Robillard and 47-year-old James Cerniglia, with running a large, multi-state betting ring operated out of the Albany County Jail, in which the men were allegedly taking bets and making payoffs while on the job.  Both had loose ties to the now defunct Legends Sportsbook out of Panama City, Panama.  At the time both men plead not guilty.  They would eventually plead guilty to promoting gambling in exchange for cooperating with the remainder of the investigation.

Bookies in upstate New York are more inclined to utilize the services of an offshore Pay Per Head business, which essentially manages all aspects of the business with the exception of payouts to clients.  Such establishments provide tech support, websites, 24/7 customer service, mobile wagering, live betting, line services and betting options the typical bookie cannot offer.

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It’s easy to see why bookies would enjoy such success in the upstate New York region.  Buffalo Bills residents are diehard fans even during the worst of times (which has essentially been the last decade plus) while the frenzy around Syracuse during March Madness is sometimes hard to surpass. 

Bookies will be prevalent no matter what the season in Syracuse, but obviously it is College Baskeball that takes the cake with January thru April being an especially profitable period of time. 

Bookies can be found in any one of the many sports bars spread out across Syracuse.  These include Chuck’s Café, Tully’s, Jake Hafner’s and the Syracuse Suds Factory, just to name a few.

Buffalo sports bar are plentiful as well but one better be supporting the Bills regardless of how lousy they have played in recent years. 

There are some who believe the sports bar was actually invented in Buffalo, well, at least that sports bar staple the buffalo wing(s).  Popular hangouts include Century Grill, Gordon’s, Més Que, Thirsty Buffalo, Jack Astor’s and the Warehouse Food, Drinks Games.

Sports betting in the state is considered a misdemeanor whereas bookmaking is deemed a felony.

- Aaron Goldstein, Gambling911.com

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