34 Men Arrested for Running Online Sportsbook in Israel

Written by John M. on 2009-11-17 at 12:22
Internet gambling in Israel - GamingZion
Police have arrested 34 men in a raid for being involved in running an illegal online sports betting operation. According to the police, the operation raked in over NIS 340 million, the equivalent of almost $90.4 million. The success of this gambling operation is fine proof of the Israeli enthusiasm towards gambling being that the site had processed over 70 million transactions since 2007.

The men arrested are being charged with much more than running an illegal gambling operation. They are suspected of being active in many areas of organized crime and will be charged with tax evasion, money laundering, extortion and physical violence.

Despite the immense demand for gambling opportunities, only the highly regulated sports betting and lotto government operations are legal when it comes to gambling in Israel. The standard casino style of betting is not permitted, though it can be found on ships in some of Israel’s seaports.

Israeli gambling laws are strict contrary to the high demand leading to many underground gambling operations. As was proven by the above mentioned group, such institutions exist and have the potential to become very prosperous.

Internet gambling in Israel is another issue entirely. The government does not allow local companies to operate online gambling websites in the country, except for the official lottery and sports betting systems that the government runs.

Despite government filtering of the internet, online gambling sites in Israel are plentiful. The Israeli government has no jurisdiction in countries where many online gambling sites are based from and can, therefore, do nothing to stop them.

Judging from the very enthusiastic approach to gambling shown by the public, it would not be a bad idea for the Israeli government to consider legalizing a few more types of gambling. A significant profit could be made should they follow suit with the rest of the world.

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