Monroe tavern owner enters pleas to gambling charges

Sentencing set for January

The owner of a Monroe tavern entered pleas Wednesday to two counts involving commercial gambling in Green County Circuit Court.

Jeffrey Conway entered a plea to one count of commercial gambling — taking a bet, and one count of using a wire communication to facilitate sports betting, both as a party to the crime.

The Wisconsin Department of Justice said the investigation began when a co-defendant, Werner Rast, who was sentenced on Oct. 4, was arrested for a domestic incident.

The gambling charges covered a period of several years, and involved taking bets on college and professional football and NCAA tournament basketball, according to a Wisconsin Department of Justice news release.

The DOJ said Conway is the owner of Old Smokey’s Tavern in Monroe, and the tavern was used to pick up winnings and pay off losses in the gambling operation.

Sentencing for Conway has been set for Jan. 30.

A presentence investigation was ordered. Conway faces a maximum penalty of 3 1/2 years imprisonment and a $10,000 fine on each count.