Illegal Online Gambling Ring Busted in New YorkPublished July 5, 2016 by Elana K
An illegal online gambling ring was busted last week by the Brooklyn district attorney’s office, and four men were arrested as the ringleaders. The ring operated via toll-free numbers and a number of websites.
An illegal online gambling ring was busted last week by the Brooklyn district attorney’s office, and four men were arrested as the ringleaders. The men are being charged with enterprise corruption, first-degree promoting gambling, second-degree possession of gambling records and fifth-degree conspiracy. If convicted on the top count, the defendants could face up to 25 years in prison.
The ring operated via toll-free numbers and a number of websites. Money was laundered in a variety ways, including using electronic wire transfers, physically transporting cash in suitcases, and purchasing real estate.
According to District Attorney Ken Thompson, the ring operated out of a centralized "wireroom" in Costa Rica and required a $200,000 per month cash flow to maintain. Thompson also reported that the sites handled over $927 million worth of wagers during the 2015 NFL season.
"Illegal gambling is not a victimless crime — it preys on people's vulnerabilities and directly leads to money laundering, loansharking and a host of other crimes," Thompson said.
The Need for Online Gambling Regulations
The New York state legislature recently approved a bill that will regulate daily fantasy sports in the state, but ignored a proposed bill that would legalize online gambling. The legislative session is now over, which means that online gambling will not be open to discussion until next year.
But perhaps this recent bust will highlight the need for online gambling regulations. The fact that an online gambling ring like this could operate is because there are no regulations in place and nowhere for gamblers to turn - so they turn to illegal sites. If online gambling was regulated, consumers would be protected from such money-laundering schemes; it could also save the state time, money and resources that go into busting illegal gambling activities.
Certainly, this issue will be something that online gambling supporters bring up the next time online gambling is brought to the table.