Law Enforcement Bust Sportsbook in Toronto

Even with the expanded access to online gambling, there is still an incredible number of customers who are involved with illegal gambling. Law enforcement does not turn a blind eye to illegal gambling, especially illegal gambling that involves millions of dollars in revenue. Recently, the police have expanded an investigation into a $103 million gambling ring, a ring purportedly connected to bike gang members and organized crime.

In Toronto, a man who served as the administrator of Platinum Sports Book entered a guilty plea after an investigation into the sportsbook led to criminal charges. Platinum Sports Book had servers in Costa Rica, but an investigation revealed there was a tremendous amount of activity going on in the city of Toronto. A significant network of bookies – several hundred – were providing services to thousands of clients in Toronto.

For quite some time this activity occurred without any in law enforcement knowing anything about it. A Super Bowl party, amazingly, created the tip off to the police. The police had monitored a Super Bowl party run by the sportsbook and discovered the event was attended by around 2,700 guests. The amount of money required to fund such an event absolutely had to cost well into the six figures. This led to suspicions about the scope of the sportsbooks’ operations. Wiretaps eventually revealed just how expansive – and illegal – the operation was.

The investigation revealed that the sportsbook amassed $103 million in revenue over the course of a four-year period. The mysterious recovery of $1.3 million in case found in a man’s backpack eventually turned out to be money being couriered across Canada for Platinum.

The structure of the betting operation employed a “pyramid” approach. The management at the top ran things, and the rest of the network comprised of those in the down-line of the pyramid. The various members of the pyramid had their own role in the endeavor. Whether or not those at the top will be prosecuted – or even identified – remains to be seen.

Gordon Baird is the administrator who entered the guilty plea. Baird will serve 18 months of house arrest and pay a fine of $400,000. He made a down payment on the massive fine and has a year to pay off the balance.

Two others with links to a motorcycle gang and organized crime have been charged. The two entered “not guilty” pleas. The final result of their cases will be revealed when the court proceedings reach their conclusion.

Many are likely surprised to discover wide-scale underground gambling occurs. The truth is many people simple like to do things the “old fashioned” way and prefer to bet with bookies as opposed to placing legal bets. Hence, a demand does exist for this type of wagering activity. Again, law enforcement takes such better seriously and works at arresting and prosecuting those involved.

Written by: Andrew Johnson

Andrew Johnson has been reporting for for more than 8 years. He studied journalism at UGC and has published two books on how journalism influences the world.

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