According to Israeli gambling laws all online gaming in the country is banned, except for state-sponsored National Lottery and the Israeli Commission for Sports Betting. Yet that doesn’t stop the Israeli population from gambling at a multitude of foreign-based online casinos in Israel.
Israeli credit card companies are also prohibited from accommodating gambling transactions at online sportsbooks in Israel. Yet there are always smart ways to work around that. Recently four men were accused of distributing $15 million worth of pre-paid gambling cards, allowing easy ways to deposit payments at online gaming websites.
Yoel Azari, Yair Azari, Meir Mizrachi and Golan Shaul, the four men in question, are charged with assisting organized gambling, money laundering and tax evasion.
According to the indictments filed against the accused, they imported thousands of cards and sold them to kiosk and individuals throughout Israel, who then resold to online gamblers. The defendants are also suspected in transferring around $9 million from card sales to several renowned online sportsbooks.
Naturally most of the income was not declared, and thus tax authorities haven’t received a dime. State Attorney’s Office says around $10 million was deposited by the defendants into various foreign banks. The Office told Israel gambling news that they were able to identify the suspects thank to a “complex covert and overt operation” by the Lahav 433 special unit of the police.
The State Attorney’s Office also issued a statement, saying that the investigation and following indictments demonstrated “another step in the economic enforcement against the Internet gambling phenomenon.” Further indictments could follow against other individuals involved in this case.