Massive Illegal Betting Ring Bust By OPP
By 2025, the worldwide sports gambling market value will have hit a remarkable $8 billion according to estimates. The panelists at 2019’s New York Sports Betting Investment Summit agreed about this estimate.
However, regulating and keeping gambling business legal is very important. Throughout history, humans have been notoriously overstepping the boundaries. This has been happening in Ontario and Quebec provinces over the last two years in the betting industry.
Recently, three top officials confirmed that the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) force raided a massive unlawful sports gambling ring and an illicit online betting gang led by members and clients of the Hell’s Angels together with more than one civil servant.
Police have since called it the biggest inspection of crime in at least 10 years.
CRA representative Steve Bonin revealed that the searches included residential houses and business premises. He said that “all income is taxable,” whether generated legally or illegally.
Protecting the Provinces
The scheme that finally led to the recent busting of at least 50 locations across Quebec and Southern Ontario is called Project HOBART. It results from some local police members and the Canada Revenue Agency’s resolute commitment and hard work over the past two years.
At long last, the operation resulted in the OPP in conjunction with 18 other local police forces arresting 28 and charging 228 people, including the aforementioned members of the Hell’s Angels.
The various charges placed against the arrested individuals included tax evasion, operating illegal bookmaking enterprises, operating illegal or unlicensed online gaming companies, and possessing and using illegal firearms.
A Fight to Remain in Charge
The charged and arrested members of the Hell’s Angels are believed to be in close association with the infamous Figliomeni family, a group that has been associated with several organized crime operations and rings.
As the gang struggled to stay in control of the lucrative and illegitimate gaming and bookmaking business, it committed a wide range of secondary crimes such as homicides, attempted murders, robberies, and shootings.
According to the OPP’s confirmation, the enterprise earned about $131 million illegally over the past 5 years.
Meanwhile, Commissioner Carique has applauded the team that worked unceasingly and with outstanding tenacity to ensure that the circle of unlawful dealings was finally brought down. He added that the ongoing success of the Project HOBART and other like initiatives will ever rely on the continued collaboration among law enforcement bureaus and their corresponding provincial authorities.
Police have vowed to continue cracking down illegal gambling in the provinces.