Major gambling ring busted

US authorities have busted four illegal gambling rings in three US states, arresting 31 people, seizing millions of dollars of cash, cars and property in the process.

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said undercover officers had worked their way inside illegal gambling rings operating in Phoenix, Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

Gamblers would place bets either through a toll-free number or through websites based in Costa Rica, whilst the bookies and collectors worked out of Phoenix bars and restaurants. However, authorities were keen to stress those business were not involved in the scam.

Millions were being made from the operations, and if bettors couldn’t cover their debts, they would sometimes be charged interest rates as high as 51 per cent or threatened with violence.

Those arrested face charges that include the promotion of illegal gambling, money laundering, conspiracy and extortion.

Editor, - 2007-04-26 11:08:11

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