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The long-time owner of a sports bar in Wilkes Barre was sentenced Thursday morning for running an illegal gambling operation out of his business. Pat Patte, who has owned Patte’s Sports Bar on River Street for the last 46 years. He could have faced up to a year in prison for his role in an illegal online gambling operation. Instead, he was sentenced to probation. A federal judge sentenced Patte to three years probation, six months home confinement and ordered him to pay a fine of $20,000.

His attorneys argued against a prison sentence because they said Patte is in poor health and that he has learned his lesson. “Well I guess it’s better than going to jail,” Patte said after the sentencing. When asked if he was concerned about the $20,000 fine he responded, “I’m concerned about everything.” Patte pleaded guilty last year to illegal gambling. Investigators said bets were made and paid out at the Wilkes-Barre sports bar and online. Two other men, Patte’s Sports Bar manager Mark Fino and Christopher Marion, previously pleaded guilty for their roles in the illegal gambling ring.

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“I think Pat got caught up in gambling, probably likes to gamble himself and got caught up in betting sports. That’s what happened,” said defense attorney Bill Ruzzo. Patte will also be allowed to keep his bar open.

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Source: WNEP Channel 16

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