O'Donnell: Was Casey Urlacher used to whet a headline-seeking net?

  • Mettawa Mayor Casey Urlacher speaks during a 2016 endorsement meeting at The Daily Herald office.

      Mettawa Mayor Casey Urlacher speaks during a 2016 endorsement meeting at The Daily Herald office. Patrick Kunzer | Staff Photographer

 
Updated 2/21/2020 6:44 PM

CASEY URLACHER HAS HAD better weeks.

And better publicity.

 

He is the 40-year-old brother of Brian Urlacher -- the Bears Hall of Famer -- and the mayor of the notably wealthy Lake County village of Mettawa.

On Thursday, he was named in an ominous federal indictment along with nine other men as allegedly being part of "an offshore sports betting ring" that had "hundreds of bettors" losing "millions of dollars."

Urlacher has been denying any knowledge of the government's investigation.

The indictment lists a fellow named Vincent Delgiudice of Orland Park as being the mastermind behind "the ring" with Urlacher one of eight "agents" who helped recruit and service upstreaming wagerers.

Delgiudice, according to the indictment, had the extreme misfortune to have $1.06 million cash laying around his house when the feds came knocking last spring.

by signing up you agree to our terms of service
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

That's generally not pizza-delivery tip money.

Along with an alleged stream of text messages, emails and links to a Costa Rica-based online gaming service, it's also not a difficult opening judicial mosaic to put into play.

So -- investigation, indictments and now constitutional due process afforded to all presumed innocent continues down the system's pathways.

But at least one locally-bred expert -- an individual who operates the same sort of "ring" at a level well above that alleged of Delgiudice -- was miffed by elements of the government's announcement.

"There's not a hint of muscle or intimidation in the indictment, meaning this operation was about as dangerous as having ink cartridges refilled at Costco," the authority said.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"You had bettors who wanted to play and got to keep playing as long as they paid. That's the way it works."

The authority said agents are essentially passive recruiters who bring bettors into "a ring." They're responsible for paying or collecting from the speculators they recruit.

A final point of curiosity is that legal sports gaming in Illinois is scheduled to begin in March.

So today's sin will be next month's drive-through, albeit with much easier tracking capabilities accruing to the IRS.

There can be little question the timing of the government's announcement of the indictments was intended to send a very clear boom-shakalaka to all independent bookmakers.

In this case -- whether he is found innocent or guilty -- the name "Urlacher" merely helped to whet a headline-seeking net.

STREET-BEATIN': Tom McKay -- senior VP of the broadband provider RCN Chicago -- was among the first regional execs to confirm his company's new monthly charge to customers for the Cubs Marquee Sports Network. It's $2.40. ...

Tim Anderson's YouTube channel is an interesting foray into new media possibilities by the White Sox. Now if the sweet-swinging shortstop ever wins a Gold Glove, maybe Dick Allen or Juan Uribe can make a guest appearance to present it. ...

Former Bulls marksman Ben Gordon posted an unbelievably evocative piece on The Players Tribune. (Painfully honest and not for the whole family.) ...

Generally lost in the Rod Blagojevich shuffle was the fact that he somehow also managed to bring down the once-invincible harness racing kingdom of Billy Johnston and clan. They never would have believed that back in the days of the three-card monte games outside Sportsman's Park. ...

Intriguing thought plume among a growing cadre of sports media types: Nick Faldo is a better golf analyst when Tiger Woods isn't playing and the fluid Brit can ditch the hero worship. ...

One of the toughest D-I players in the land will be front and center when Myles Powell and Seton Hall host St. John's Sunday (CBS, 11 a.m.). (Make mental note for March tournament selections -- this guy is Newark at midnight.) ...

And Charles Barkley, on Cleveland's cavalier treatment of the departed John Beilein, snapped, "For those players to complain about, 'We're practicing too hard, we're watching too much film' because they stink, I found it disgusting."

• Jim O'Donnell's Sports & Media column appears Thursday and Sunday. Reach him at jimodonnelldh@yahoo.com.

0 Comments
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 
Article Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.