Illegal Gambling News

News and information about illegal gambling activities worldwide. To see key statistics and data, visit the main Illegal Gambling, Match Fixing, and Online Gambling page.

Regulators in Costa Rica received 302 reports of suspicious financial transactions in 2012, according to the Money Laundering Unit of the Judicial Investigation Organization.

As of April 2013, the unit was in the process of actively investigating 16 major cases of money laundering involving casinos, sportsbooks and small-scale businesses such as carwashes.

(Illegal gambling statistics.)

Authorities believe that most of the money that is laundered in Costa Rica originates from Mexico. After the money is washed through legitimate businesses in Costa Rica, the money then is wired to banks in Panama.

Source: “Casinos, sportsbooks, even bakeries investigated for money laundering,” Inside Costa Rica, April 15, 2013.

The United States Department of Justice filed criminal charges against the operators of internet gambling website Legendz. According to the grand jury indictment, the website accepted over $1 Billion in illegal bets placed mainly by customers in the United States.

(More information about online gambling.)

Source:  Andrew Harris, “Legendz Online Gambling Probe Produces Charges Against 34,” Bloomberg BusinessWeek, April 10, 2013.

There are around 2,200 online gambling websites that illegally provide gambling services to customers in Australia, according to government officials.

The customers betting at these website lose an estimated $1.04 Billion (1 Billion Australian Dollars) in illegal internet gambling activities.

Source:  Asher Moses, “Online apps take bite of illegal betting,” Age, April 1, 2013.


According to the FBI, an estimated $2.6 Billion is illegally gambled on the N.C.A.A.  Men’s Basketball Tournament in the United States, commonly known as March Madness.

Across the United States, its estimated that up to $500 Billion is bet on sports by Americans each year at illegal casinos or online websites.

(More illegal sports betting statistics and figures.)

Source:  Joe Drape, “Cash-Hungry States Eye Sports Betting, to Leagues’ Dismay,” New York Times, March 27, 2013.

FIFA, (The International Federation of Association Football) estimates that organized crime syndicates make up to $15 Billion a year by fixing football (American Soccer) matches.

One single match fixing scandal in Italy is estimated to have made the Camorra and Mafia syndicates $2.6 Billion in earnings.

(More earnings from under the table jobs and crime.)

Gambling investigations in Italy found that it costs up to $516,0000 to fix a football match in the top Italian league. In Croatia, a match could be fixed for $25,600.

(More match fixing statistics.)

Source:  Associated Press, “Soccer faces epic fight against match-fixing,” Google News, February 12, 2013.

In February 2013, Europol announced that it has discovered an international organized crime syndicate that was match fixing European Football games.

Police discovered that up to 380 matches played across Europe was fixed for illegal gambling purposes. The matches included World Cup Qualifiers, European Championship qualifies, two Champions League times and other top matches. The matches took place in 15 different countries.

Europol believes that a crime syndicate in Asia was behind the ring.

Up to $21.6 Million (€16 Million) in bets were placed on the fixed matches, with the criminals receiving $10.8 Million (€8 Million) in profits. The gamblers paid out $2.7 Million (€2 Million) in bribes to participants who were involved. Up to 425 match officials, club officials and players are believed to have been involved.

(More match fixing statistics.)

Source:  “Europol: investigators identify 380 fixed football matches,” Guardian, February 4, 2013.

A study by economists at the Open University stated that $2.8 Billion (11 Billion Shekel) is spent on illegal sports betting on the black market in Israel.

If the sports betting market was legalized in Israel, the study estimates that the government would be able to collect up to $$315 Million (1.2 Billion Shekel) in tax revenue.

The total illegal gambling market in Israel is estimated to be worth $4.1 Billion.

(More stats about online sports betting.)

Source:  Moti Bassok, “Study: Legalized gambling in Israel would net NIS 1.2 billion in tax revenue,” Haaretz, December 10, 2012.

The head of the Economic Security and Anti-Corruption Department stated that there are around 500,000 illegal gambling sites operating across Russia.

Source:  “Interior Ministry proposes liabilty for visitors of illegal gambling dens,” RAPSI, December 5, 2012.

The trade union representing Germany’s police investigators estimates that between $65 to $78 Billion (50 to 60 Billion Euros) in money laundering activities takes place in Germany each year.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) stated that other countries investigate money laundering and detect financial crimes at a rate of four to twenty times more than Germany.

One method that money is laundered in Germany is through illegal gambling. From slot machines that pay out less money and illegal online gambling, up to $155 Million (120 Million Euros) is laundered each year.

(Additional crime in Germany statistics.)

Source:  Wolfgang Dick, “Germany, a safe haven for money laundering,” Deutsche Welle, October 30, 2012.

In the United States, between $2 Billion to $3 Billion is wagered on sporting events in Nevada casinos. The casinos in Nevada are the only place where it is legal to place bets on sports in the country.

However, Americans are estimated to wager up to $500 Billion annually on sports worldwide through illegal gambling activities or Internet betting websites.

(More data about sports betting on the internet.)

Source:  Chad Millman, “Authorities expose $50M betting ring,” ESPN, October 25, 2012.