Springfield, MO

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Authorities expose illegal gambling business

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A Republic man pleaded guilty Sept. 7 to running an illegal gambling business out of his Republic home, according to a news release from Beth Phillips, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Missouri.

Donald Bishop, 66, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Richard E. Dorr to a charge contained in a June 2010 indictment.

Bishop admitted that between Aug. 1, 2008, and Aug. 28, 2009, he was part of a conspiracy to conduct the illegal gambling business. For at least one year, Bishop's residence served as operations for a casino-style poker game, typically Texas Hold'em or Omaha. He employed professional dealers and waitresses, operated two poker tables and received a payment, aka a rake, for each hand dealt, the release said.

The games required a $2 small blind and a $5 big blind, and the house dealt 15 to 20 hands an hour per table - with up to 10 players at each table. The games, which were scheduled Sunday through Thursday at 2 p.m., sometimes lasted until the following morning.

Bishop exchanged poker chips for cash in amounts up to $500 per transaction on at least 14 occasions with a confidential informant and an undercover law enforcement officer. One of Bishop's dealers also exchanged poker chips for cash with a confidential informant at least twice, according to the release.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, the government will recommend a sentence of probation. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled following the presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office.

The case is being prosecuted by Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Oliver and was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation, the FBI, the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Republic Police Department.[[In-content Ad]]


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