Authorities in Italy are working hard to crack down on illegal gambling. Recently, it was revealed that over $95 million has been seized in raids involving illegal gambling connected to organized crime. A recent investigation called Operation Double Game resulted in restriction orders issued against 23 people connected to Cosa Nostra of Sicily.
Details of the investigation were provided to the public via Alessandro Ford, a journalist, after a story was posted online. An Italian news service reported that the suspects arrested in the investigation face several charges including abusive gambling and betting.
The main focus of the investigation was the Santapaola-Ercolano mafia. This group is located in Catania. The group was reportedly operating a website called RaiseBet24.com. The site offered sports betting services. It is not authorized to offer services and had been under fire for quite some time.
Players who took part in betting at the site were told it was a better idea to use cash to place bets instead of credit card payments. The cash was collected and then laundered via company and building purchases in Poland, Italy, and Germany.
According to various reports, the crime syndicates in Italy are moving money through Germany and Poland quite often. The issue has moved away from just Europe and is now a problem across Europe. Many investigations have sprung up over the years involving illegal online gambling operations in the country.
This recent investigation is just one of many taking place across Italy. This year, a huge trial is taking place in the country involving just over 350 suspected criminals. Those facing charges including individuals believed to have trafficked drugs, murdered people, taken part in loan sharking, and other criminal activity.
The trial is so large, it is expected to take two years to complete. Several law enforcement members along with public officials are defendants in the trial.