September 19, 2020 – Revered Pittsburgh bookie Robert (Bobby I) Ianelli, one of the last remaining links to the old Steel Town mafia that ruled the region for decades, pleaded guilty to sports gambling and policy lottery charges in state court this week in exchange for probation. Ianelli and his son, Rusty, ran their sports book and numbers business out of Ianelli’s longtime headquarters, Chubb’s Place in North Park. They were indicted together in Westmoreland County last year.

The 90-year old Bobby I will get off a 10-year parole sentence once he pays Uncle Sam back $250,000. His rap sheet dates back to the 1950s and the reign of Pittsburgh mob boss Sebastian (Big John) LaRocca. Ianelli became Western Pennsylvania’s No. 1 gambling chief under LaRocca’s successor, Michael Genovese, during the 1980s. He was known far and wide in the Keystone State as a “gentleman” wiseguy and aligned tightly with Genovese capos Anthony (Wango) Capizzi and Frank (Sonny) Amato in the last era of Pittsburgh mob dominance.

When Genovese died of natural causes in October 2006, the once strong and powerful Steel Town mafia syndicate, faded quickly. Crime experts in the area say it’s unlikely Ianelli has forked over any mob street tax since Genovese’s passing. Bobby I learned the numbers game from storied Pittsburgh policy king Tony Grosso.

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