The International and Serious Crimes Unit detectives, along with the elite Gidonim Unit have cracked down on an illegal online gambling web site. Seven people were arrested and 18 more detained for questioning for allegedly being part of the ring. The Israel Police’s Lahave 433’s Unit said that they had been tracking the online gambling ring.
They say that the online gambling ring was operating for some time, and that millions of shekels per year were laundered through the operation. They raided the suspects homes, as well as businesses that were tied to the operation and they found damning evidence of an illegal online gambling operation.
They said that they received a tip that the Play 2 Bet web site had been offering illegal online gambling, so they started watching the casino cruise. The money came through their company and then was routed through K.G. Money Changers, and then laundered overseas and within the country.
They also think that some of the money that was run through the illegal online gambling operation was profits from other illegal enterprises that the owners were running. They said that to gain access to the site they had to be allowed onto the closed list, then given a person log-in name and password. They had to make large deposits to cover their bets, and then they were allowed access.
They would send messengers to the homes of those people participating in the illegal online gambling operation to pick up cash from them and no credit cards were accepted. Although mostly sports related, the site was in fact, illegal.
The online gambling company says that with the German ban being put into effect on January 1st, they can no longer compete in the market and has to exit the German online gambling market.
They have announced to their players that as much as they regret having to do so, they are going to have to suspend all of their online gambling clients’ accounts as of March 1st. They are asking them to log in and withdraw any and all funds from their online gambling accounts before they are frozen.
For other countries they will be able to continue to play, but German players will not be allowed on the site. According to German rule, outside online gambling sites are not allowed to advertise or run within the country, and anyone caught doing so will face prosecution. This applies to their residents as well, and they are expected to patronize online gambling sites from Germany only.
As of March 1st there will be a log in attached to the site that will block all German online gamblers. If they do not have their funds withdrawn by that time they will no longer have access to them. They say that they hope that some day they will be able to offer online gambling services to the residents of Germany again, but at this time it does not seem likely that it will be in the near future.
The company has apologized profusely for the problem, but insists that Germany’s laws are completely out of their control.