Wife rats out hubby’s illegal $600K Super Bowl pools - KMSP-TV

Wife rats out hubby’s illegal $600K Super Bowl pools

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By NY Post -

She knew bettor.

A wife furious with her football-obsessed husband dropped a dime on a Staten Island gin mill — sparking a rare raid that shut down $600,000 in ­Super Bowl pools last week.

“How can the SLA allow a $1 million illegal football pool at Talk of the Town?” the angry spouse wrote the State Liquor Authority on Nov. 13.

“My husband spends all his money on these pools and not on our children.”

The SLA put a rush investigation on the anonymous complaint. Last Sunday night, two investigators barged into the neighborhood saloon’s annual Christmas party. They flashed badges and snapped photos of pool boards taped to the mirrored bar back, witnesses told The Post.

The Talk of the Town Tavern, at 24 Giffords Lane in the Great Kills section, was advised to shut down the gambling. SLA lawyers are now reviewing whether to slap the owner, Larry Burkert, 55, with violations carrying a typical fine of $2,500 for a first ­offense. The bar has told patrons the pools are dead and bettors will get ­refunds, sources said.

The crackdown comes as New York/New Jersey hosts the first-ever local Super Bowl on Feb 2.

The 71-year-old Talk of the Town tavern, known for its $1.50 drafts and sawdust-covered shuffleboard table, has been running Super Bowl pools for decades — like thousands of other bars in New York City. Its friendly barkeeps sell “boxes” to mostly blue-collar and civil-servant patrons for six different pools.

One pool goes for $2,000 a box, bringing in a total of $200,000. Two pools are worth $100,000 each, and four are $50,000 each.

Local authorities have long looked the other way as New Yorkers drop millions of bucks on the big game in bar and office pools. That’s because the contests are random and the “house” usually doesn’t profit from them.

“Nobody gets hurt,” said an SLA insider.

But that was before an angry wife piped up.

“The Talk,” as locals call it, is known to take 10 percent off the top — patrons view it as a “tip” to the organizers who spend a year collecting bets and keeping the books. Burkert declined to comment on the SLA sting, saying it would be litigated.

An SLA spokesman said the agency “does not comment on pending complaints or investigations.”

Under state liquor law, “No person licensed to sell alcoholic beverages shall suffer or permit any gambling on the licensed premises.”

“It’s really a victimless crime, but a money-making operation for the SLA,” the insider said.

“The fines are substantial considering the severity of the violation.”

But the potential winnings are big. The Post found a bar in The Bronx last year with a “5,000-point-per-box” pool — code for a $500,000 total prize at $5,000 per box.

And pools have been known to grace even the walls of police station houses and district attorney’s offices.

Gotham’s biggest boxes are the hardest to get into. Even if you have a cool $5,000 to pony up, big- money pools are usually word-of-mouth affairs spoken of in hushed tones.

“If somebody desperate hears about it and shoots up a bar looking for half a million — that’s why nobody wants to talk about it,” said a man in a North Bronx saloon.

For more on this check out NYPost.com

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