Saturday, December 1, 2012

Video Poker Machines And Expresso, A South Philadelphia Tradition

Veteran organized crime reporter and true crime author George Anastasia is covering the federal organized crime trial in Philadelphia for

A South Philadelphia video poker machine vendor reluctantly offered jurors a look at the finances of the illegal gambling business Friday when he put a dollar figure on his 10-year run as a distributor.

Curt Arbitman, testifying in the racketeering trial of mob boss Joseph "Uncle Joe" Ligambi and six co-defendants, said when he agreed to plead guilty and cooperate with prosecutors he was forced to forfeit $600,000.

The money, he said, was an estimate of his take from a distribution network that he controlled from about 2000 until his arrest in September 2009.

His income, he told the jury, was based on a profit-sharing arrangement he had with the owners of the stops -- bars, restaurants and social clubs -- where his machines were placed. He said he worked a 75/25 split, meaning the stop owner got 75 percent of the take and he got 25 percent.

In effect, the buisness generated $2.4 million over that 10-year period.

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