Sports betting has a history of corruption, but the connection between Betting and organized crime is not confined to sports. Illegal betting, gambling, and gaming are some of the most lucrative industries in the underworld. Illegal card games are just one of the many activities facilitated by organized crime. Sports betting is another, offering an even greater profit margin. The most notorious case was Project ORIVER, a lucrative partnership between organized crime and the Hells Angels.
Over the past several years, there have been increasing reports of connections between betting and organized crime. In Hong Kong, for example, authorities discovered that gambling was a major source of revenue for a number of organized crime organizations. Money laundering and organized crime are also common underlying themes of such activities. In 2016, the Hong Kong Police detained more than 800 suspects and seized USD 2.7 million in cash and computer records relating to hundreds of millions of dollars in bets.
In Boston, Wimpy Bennett ran a numbers ring with Stephen Flemmi, a fellow defendant. Eddie Jones was a black community gangster who earned $180,000 a week. During his jail time, Eddie Jones met Sam Giancana, a top Italian Mafia figure. The two met in jail and became friends. Giancana taught Eddie Jones the policy game and number combinations, which helped him to get a job running an establishment.
In Italy, the ‘Ndrangheta family, a powerful Italian organized crime family, was linked to betting websites. Malta’s favorable tax regime has made online gambling a popular option for online gaming companies. Aside from Italian organized crime, Romanian and Chinese crime groups are also involved in betting. The relationship between gambling and organized crime is complicated, but it’s not impossible to identify the perpetrators. Nevertheless, betting is a growing sector in the underworld.
The threat of federal prosecution isn’t theoretical, either. The Taskforce’s recommendations for dealing with illegal betting have received widespread support. Internet service providers should block illegal offshore gambling sites, and banks should refuse gambling-related transactions to these sites. Further, betting data should be thoroughly analysed to identify links with organized crime groups and help prevent money laundering. Betting is a major source of revenue for criminals, and its connection with organized crime has been uncovered by many investigations.
Sports betting was once the mainstay of organized crime, which is now legalized. However, in the past, betting was illegal in all but Nevada. The government fought the activity to protect its citizens, as it is a way for criminals to finance their activities. However, organized crime was largely a source of income for the syndicates, but legal betting has given people more freedom to gamble on their favorite sporting events. Several states have legalized sports betting in recent years, and dozens more are in the process of legalizing it.
Despite the federal government’s efforts to regulate sports betting, the industry is still worried about Jahoda’s testimony. The industry has raised concerns about the credibility of these witnesses, including Terrence Brunner, the executive director of the Better Government Association in Chicago, who opposes legalized gambling in the city. Another expert on illegal sports betting and organized crime, Edward Galanek, plans to discuss illegal bookmakers using Nevada sports books.