Chet Forte, the Emmy award-winning former director...

Chet Forte, the Emmy award-winning former director of ABC’s “Monday Night Football,” pleaded not guilty to federal tax and mail fraud charges but admitted to a serious gambling habit at U.S. District Court in Camden, N.J.

Public defender Lawrence Lustberg entered the plea for Forte to the nine-count indictment at a hearing. Forte, 55, remains free on $500,000 bail. Trial was set for July 2. If convicted, Forte faces more than 70 years in prison and fines that could cost millions, authorities said.

Lustberg said he will try to negotiate a plea agreement but would not elaborate.