N.Y., N.J. Hit Internet Gambling Rings

New York and New Jersey law enforcement officials busted two Internet bookmaking operations today that allegedly handled more than half a billion dollars in sports wagers over the last 16 months. Authorities said the arrests targeted “traditional mob-run” bookie operations.

In more than 70 raids based in Queens County, N.Y., and Monmouth County, N.J., authorities arrested 54 people with 12 more still at large. Among the host of criminal enterprise, conspiracy and money laundering charges, the defendants are charged with operating an unlawful gambling enterprise on the Internet.

Among those charged as a bookmaker is John Kinahan, 56, a former New York City police officer and current manager of a Long Island topless dancing club owned by his wife, Ginger Kinahan, 56. In New Jersey, raids netted more than $2 million in cash and a luxury yacht named “Risky Business” owned by the ring’s alleged lead bookmaker, Joseph Pasquale, 51, of Mantoloking, N.J.

Queens County District Attorney Richard A. Brown said bettors and the ring’s runners and managers used a Web site with its servers located in Costa Rica.

“Despite the use of modern technology and an off-shore wire room, the defendants…are accused of running an old-fashioned bookmaking operation,” Brown said in a statement. Wire rooms are locations where wagers are accepted in an illegal gambling operation. In both cases, the defendants also maintained toll free telephone lines based in Costa Rica.

Monmouth County Prosecutor Luis A. Valentin said in a statement, “Illegal gambling is a quality of life crime that seem harmless, but it is often perpetrated by organized and sometimes violent, criminal enterprises.”

Last November, Brown arrested and charged 27 individuals and three corporations with operating an illegal online gambling operation that allegedly booked more than $3.3 billion in wagers over a 28-month period.

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