"Big Mike" From Superbook VIP Sports Bar (Panama) Arrested In Florida Yesterday
Thursday, April 11 2013 @ 04:46 PM EDT
Contributed by: Don Winner
"Big Mike" hired me to help promote events at the Superbook VIP Sports Bar when he and Bill Bates took it over. They ran it for a couple of years and then sold their share of the bar and restaurant. "Big Mike" moved back to Florida, and Bill was working at the DSS call center on Albrook. For the record, the gambling activity at the Sportsbook Bar is perfectly legal because they have a license issued by the government of Panama, and anyone can walk in there and place a bet on a game if they want to. Mike and Bill were trying to get people through the door to fill the place up, and they would pay to run promotions for things like big games, UFC events, the Final Four, Superbowl, and stuff like that.
After the indictment was released yesterday afternoon I went over to the Superbook and spoke to the guys there. They had heard about it, and they were wondering what was going to happen to them. It turns out that the main guy in this Legends investigation - Bartice Alan "Luke" King - also owns the Superbook sports book license in Panama. So far I have not heard a word about any of this in the Panamanian press.
I consider "Big Mike" to be a friend, and I know he's a nice guy. I also knew he was big into the sports gambling scene in Panama, but had no idea about the extent of the illegal activities of the Legends Sports Book in the United States. When we discussed his plans to advertise the Superbook VIP Sports Bar on my website, I made sure to promote only "walk through the door" events - and stayed away from any online gambling reference. Anyway, it's a damn shame to see a friend of mine under arrest and facing a long time in prison on these charges.