Three more defendants have pleaded guilty to gambling charges, admitting their roles as "agents" in the mob-linked illegal sports betting operation run out of the poker room of the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa.

The New Jersey Attorney General's Office announced yesterday that Ian Backman, 29, of Mays Landing, N.J., and Douglas Rubino, 31, and John Findaly, 32, both of Philadelphia, had entered pleas during a hearing Friday in Atlantic County Superior Court.

Thirteen defendants in the high-profile case pleaded during a series of hearings last week, including Jack Buscemi Jr. and Andrew Micali, the alleged leaders of the multi-million dollar gambling ring. Both face possible five-year prison sentences. The other defendants face probation or less than a year in county jail.

Eight defendants remain in the case, including reputed South Philadelphia mob soldier Anthony Nicodemo. Nicodemo and co-defendant Vincent Procopio are scheduled to appear before Judge Michael Donio at a pre-trial hearing on Jan. 6.

- George Anastasia