Internet operator of illegal online sports gambling operation in Toronto pleads guilty

By Christine Duhaime | September 12th, 2016

A Toronto man accused of running the Internet services for Platinum Sport Book, an illegal sports betting ring that the RCMP believe may be linked to the Mafia and the Hells Angels, pleaded guilty to being a bookie in a criminal organization.

Platinum Sports Book was a sophisticated online gambling website located partially offshore that solicited Canadians to gamble and took bets from Canadians.  It physically operated in Ontario and had computer servers in Costa Rica. Platinum Sports Book was raided during a gambling party for the Super Bowl in Toronto in February 2013.

It allegedly had ties to the Carbone brothers from Toronto, who were friends with Andrew Pajak who was recorded saying he laundered money for organized crime.

The National Post reported that, based on police wiretaps, Platinum Sports Book had hundreds of bookies servicing thousands of gamblers in Toronto. The money flowed up the pyramid with the top acting as “the bank.” Between 2009 and 2013, Platinum Sports Book grossed more than $103 million.

Platinum Sports Book would courier money to Vancouver to pay gamblers. In 2012, one of their money mules, Erwin Speckert, was arrested for money laundering when he was caught boarding a bus destined to Vancouver with $1.3 million in cash. He was sentenced to three years in prison for money laundering.

Two other co-accused in the Platinum Sports Book operation, both allegedly linked to the Hells Angels, pleaded not guilty to charges that include bookmaking for the benefit of a criminal organization and money laundering.

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