Wichita man pleads guilty to running illegal gambling business

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

A Wichita tennis coach has pleaded guilty to operating an illegal gambling business.  

Jack Oxler was charged with one count of operating an illegal poker gambling business and one count of operating an illegal sports betting business. In federal court documents, the U.S. attorney alleges that Oxler "conducted, financed, managed, supervised, directed and owned..." the business. The documents state that the operation had a gross revenue of $2,000 in any single day.

Oxler pleaded guilty in federal court on Wednesday.

Oxler formerly served as tennis coach at Newman University, Bishop Carroll High School and Wichita North High School.  Bishop Carroll's president confirmed he worked there during school tennis seasons between 2009 and 2017. He was also a tennis instructor at Genesis Health Clubs in Wichita until last year, according to a company spokesman.

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In this case, Oxler is admitting his role in the ring. His attorney, G. Craig Robinson, confirmed to KAKE News that Oxler was involved in the operation of the games and running an offshore book. Oxler had moved to Kansas City in the last few months and Robinson said his client now hope the courts will allow a plea deal, so he can move on from the ordeal.

"It's all up to the court about what the judge wants to do," said Robinson. "We're hopeful that we won't be given a prison sentence."

Gambling operations like the ones federal investigators have been looking into violate Title 18 of the United States Code, Section 1955. Based on the counts he's been charged with, he faces up to five years in federal prison and a fine up to $250,000 on each count. 

Oxler becomes the eighth person charged in this investigation.  Two of the others also offered guilty pleas earlier this year, and three former law enforcement officers have also been named as part of the investigation.

Two other people wiretapped in the same investigation are Brandon and Rodney Steven. Rodney owns Genesis Health Club, but neither have ever been charged in the investigation so far. Robinson said his client knew of the Steven brothers and of the five other men indicted. But he insists Oxler did not know what involvement they may have had, if any, in the operation.

"There are some suspicions that the Stevens are involved. But, frankly, we're just like everybody else. We don't know who is involved and who isn't involved," he said.

Oxler's sentencing is scheduled for May 2.

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