Italy Rocked By Another Online Gambling Bust

Published Wednesday, January 13, 2016 -
Italy Rocked By Another Online Gambling Bust

Italy is known around the world for its rich culture and intense love of life. The latest news reported from Italy is a scandal involving online gambling with the police arresting 11 people for allegedly operating an illegal online gambling business. This enterprise is said to have garnered millions of euro in wagers, possibly in collusion with the mafia.  

Prosecutor Michele Prestipino from Rome commented that Luigi Tancredi is accused of masterminding the operation.  It has been alleged that Tancredi had installed poker screens in bars and gambling rooms run by Italian mafia members. Investigators have suggested that even though the Italian government has attempted to legalize gambling in efforts to curb corruption the solution has created new problems and opportunities for the mafia.

Prestipino said that Tancredi’s business was carried out in Romania through a server based in Tampa, Florida USA and took on an average of 12,000 virtual poker tables around Italy with 11.5 million euro $12.43 million USD in bets every day, Tancredi's daily cut was more than 1 million euro.

Investigators confirmed that the alleged Tancredi did have prior experience with the law in Italy. Tancredi is known as the "king of slots", and had come under investigation in previous incidences by courts in central and northern Italy.

Finance Police Colonel Alessandro Cavalli told the media, "A wiretap captured some mobsters commenting that this business was more profitable than drug trafficking," There is also much less risk in illegal online gambling with  gaming law infractions  often being punished by fines and not long jail terms as with drug convictions.

Investigators also said that players were aware that the game was illegal because they had to obtain a special password to get in the game. Unlike legal poker machines in Italy, the illicit poker game allowed unlimited stakes and it paid better odds because the house did not pay taxes on winnings. 10 million euro in assets, including real estate and corporate bank accounts, were seized during the raids.

Related news

Return to Latest News