Former Bookmaker Pleads Guilty to Promoting Gambling

Published Wednesday, December 09, 2009 -

The war on internet gambling is still going on in the USA as authorities continue to crack down on operators in various states in that great nation. Recently a story has surfaced concerning a fifty five year old former bookmaker named James Giordano. He was indicted in 2006 for running a sports betting website in the Caribbean that did a thriving business taking bets from players in the USA. In 1996 he had the idea to launch an offshore Internet gaming company. Giordano moved himself and his wife, to the Caribbean island of St. Maarten, which had legalized sports betting. He found a partner, obtained a license through the government of the Netherlands Antilles, and 1997 opened a sports betting business. Eventually, Giordano says, he was making $12,000 to $40,000 a week, serving somewhere between 600 and 2,000 gamblers per week.

In March 2005, local police noticed brochures and other documents at Giordano's offices suggesting they had stumbled upon a gambling operation. These local authorities notified the FBI, and the dominos began to fall. In November 2006, a series of search warrants were served in New York, Las Vegas, and Florida. Authorities arrested Giordano, his wife, daughter, and 24 other people. Three companies were also charged.

Authorities in New York, who led the investigation claimed Giordano's company, booked more than $3.3 billion in sports wagers over 28 months, which Giordano says is 'preposterous'. The Queens County District Attorney Richard Brown commented on the case as the first to charge a web designer and an offshore Internet company with involvement in a criminal enterprise. He stated, "Internet gambling is a multibillion-dollar worldwide industry that for too long has operated with impunity,"

Eventually, Giordano pleaded guilty to promoting gambling and accepted a sentence that would put him in jail for five months. He agreed to give up over $1 million but he got to keep his house and feels that he has put his family through enough trouble. His 26 co-defendants gave up more than a million total. Some of them did received minimum time in jail.


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