MonthDecember 2015

FBI — Law Enforcement Implications of Illegal Online Gambling

I now look forward to any questions you might have.

Good afternoon Chairman Chaffetz, Ranking Member Cummings, and members of the committee. Working with the Department of Justice and our federal partners, the FBI is committed to bringing criminals to justice no matter where they operate.

Thank you again for the opportunity to appear today. The IC3 is an online tool which allows the public to report tips about suspected online criminal activity, including within the illegal gambling sector. To date in this prosecution through pleas and convictions at trial, a total of 23 individuals and two companies have been convicted for their involvement in this illegal online gambling operation. This is just one example of how the FBI has worked in conjunction with other federal law enforcement officials, such as the IRS, and state and local law enforcement partners to find those individuals who engage in illicit gambling and end their operations.

In addition to the Department of Justices own work in this area, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) works hard to establish and maintain strong partnerships with both public and private entities in order to combat illegal gaming. These Bank Secrecy Act regulations are designed to detect money laundering activity. A criminal actor could additionally use cash generated from criminal activity to purchase numerous prepaid debit cards. Using online tools, like TOR networks and Virtual Private Networks, criminal actors could conceal their identity, location, and true gambling activity.

Criminal actors could fraudulently manipulate games and conspire with others to use their online gambling accounts to transfer criminally derived funds to each other. One of those methods is through the use of casinos. The Department of Justice continues to successfully investigate and prosecute illegal Internet gambling.. Some of these methods include prepaid cards, debit cards, credit cards, previous gambling winnings, or in-person presence at a physical casino. This includes conduct tied to organized crime, including La Cosa Nostra; conduct that is part of a larger criminal scheme; and/or conduct that includes locating at least part of the gambling/collection operation within the United States. Or the manipulation of a game by co-conspirators could have been a fraudulent scheme intended to steal funds from unsuspecting gamblers.

A persons online gambling account can be funded through various methods. The illegal activity involved racketeering conspiracy, operation of an illegal gambling business, and money laundering conspiracy. I am pleased to appear before you today to discuss online gambling and the potential criminal activity which could arise within it.

The FBI has also been successful in investigating, and the Department of Justice has been successful in prosecuting, such illegal gambling rings. A private tournament or game could create a platform allowing one person to transfer funds to another person. We suspect online casinos, like physical casinos, are potentially susceptible to criminal schemes and money laundering schemes because of the possibility of criminal actors hiding their identity. The movement of funds, which appears as gambling winnings to one and gambling losses to the other, is simply a transfer of criminally derived funds. An individual wishing to launder criminal proceeds by funding their online gambling account at the casino could structure their transactions in efforts to evade regulatory reporting. This initiative also leverages the IC3 network to address transnational organized crime (TOC) groups that use illegal gambling as a way to finance violent and illicit activities.

The Department of Justice takes seriously the issue of illegal gambling, including illegal online gambling, and has carefully used its limited resources to focus its investigation and prosecutions of Internet gambling on those groups engaged in egregious criminal conduct. One of our priorities has been to work with private sector partners, like the American Gaming Association, to publicize our Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). Bank Secrecy Act regulations also require casinos to file BSA Reports when the casino detects suspicious funding or gaming activity. to Panama. One of the goals of criminals who generate revenue from criminal activity is to launder their proceeds through our financial systems to make the funds appear legitimate. Internet-based casinos, like physical casinos, can be used to launder criminal proceeds.

In its law enforcement efforts, the Department of Justice is mindful of technological advances and the ever-changing online landscape, and there are several ways in which online gambling can give rise to potential criminal activity. Criminal actors use numerous methods to launder their proceeds. For example, Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) regulations applicable to physical casinos also apply to legal online casinos. In 2014-2015, there were four federal trials in Oklahoma City of individuals involved in an online gambling scheme involving Legendz Sports. The criminal actor could then use these prepaid debit cards to fund their online gambling account.

The Department of Justice and the FBI continue to use all available tools to detect such illegal activity. The evidence proved these individuals conspired with others from 2003 to 2013 to run Legendz Sports, an international criminal operation that ran online and telephone gambling services based out of Panama City, Panama. Of these convictions, 20 individuals and two companies have been convicted of RICO conspiracy. The proceeds were then funneled from the U.S. The FBI reviews these reports regularly in coordination with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.

In the age of the Internet, what used to be a crime conducted by local bookies on street corners can now operate as an international criminal enterprise. Online gambling could provide criminal actors with the potential to be anonymous to an even greater extent than in physical casinos. Once the private tournament is created, the criminal actor could raise their bet to the maximum permitted bet and then fold or intentionally lose. Legendz Sports took more than $1 billion in illegal wagers, mostly from gamblers in the United States who were betting on American sporting events

NETPROPHET: Luvbet demise signals end of an era in online betting jungle; Latest collapse brings into sharp focus the need for a safety net.

Firststake tried hard but failed, Betachance followed disgracefully and Betsmart folded. A hi-tech online startup could have hardly have had a more incongruous, rustic-sounding master, yet O’Halloran was saddened at having to compose the heartfelt closure statement which framed the site’s home page on Wednesday evening.

O’Halloran’s project has lasted a full three and a half years, lingering while others steadily fell by the wayside. Nonetheless, even for this `niche within a niche’ the same pattern has been followed.

Punters owed hard cash will pick other epithets for the unannouncedclosure. The Luvbet collapse is a shocking one and it highlights onceagain the absence of a safety net for internet punters who do their bitto finance horseracing.

Yet using luvbet was always a two-way contract. Maybe a few business lessons ought to have been learnt from Bill Gates, but Luvbet was the pioneer that became unabashadly admired, knockbacks and all, by its customers.

All that was really happening was a new-born market accelerating through its rites of passage to maturity. Luvbet and a few others spotted a niche on the information superhighway and went for it `helter-skelter’, and it was not long before the white home page festooned with small red hearts drew a growing band of devotees.

The glorious exception is the betting exchange, led by the ubiquitous Betfair. They offered their early prices, you knew that if you were a minute or two slow you’d have missed them, or that payouts somehow eschewed the technology and arrived by cheque.

The shock closure on Wednesday evening of luvbet.com – the exact timing, 5.25pm, lent the announcement a stark drama – brought a sense of closure to a period when punters relished a revolution in betting. Tax-free bets, endless choice, vibrant competition, rapid technological developments – punters had never had it so good.

CAPTION(S):

Luvbet’s founder, the thick-vowelled Cork bookie Gary O’Halloran, put it eloquently enough. Betting shops charged nine per cent, telephone services charged the same, most websites did too.

So where is the next turn in the road for punters seeking a diversion? The online betting bus has, in many ways, reached the terminus. It’s time to get off.

Yet the landscape was changing. The past few months have done for netbetsports.com and caused problems for betworld.com and betoddoreven.com.

Gary O’Halloran Issued closure statement

“I deeply regret the consequences visited upon Luvbet clients,” he wrote, “many of whom have become close personal friends.”

For a phenomenon that burst on to the scene and quickly generated a substantial fan club, Luvbet is far more deserving of an hagiography than Gareth Gates. Yet for all that, here was a market deeply attractive to punters, old and new, who hitched along for a ride that was memorable, magical, educational, and with Luvbet leading the way.

Those early days of Luvbet were the revolutionary ones of the first tax-free, offshore websites. Many had predicted from the start that the market would consolidate around the huge High Street multiples and so it has proved, with only Blue Square having really prospered – and even then with whispers over liquidity. While Betfair won awards and Betdaq tried to follow suit, smaller brethren play121, iwageru, garywiltshire and a host of others either folded or quietly left the room.

Byline: TONY SMURTHWAITE

>IT is the end of an epochal, whirlygig era, not only for online betting, but for netprophet.

March Madness Predictions Tips For Picking NCAA Basketball Bracket Winners

Sometimes all the hoopla surrounding the games can interfere with a teams overall focus. The energy from the fans often propels their teams to victory.Sports Books or odds makers are pretty accurate when they make their odds. You can even flip a coin to predict the winners of the NCAA basketball tournament. You dont have to be an expert to pick the winner of each game. Each team is ranked according to the expectation of where they will end up within their specific bracket or region. The original 64 teams lead into 32 teams, 8 teams remain within each bracket. Do you like the Wildcats or maybe the Buckeyes? The Jayhawks, the Hoosiers or the Irish can be amongst your favorites. We have a bracket pick contest in our family every year and that is exactly how my 10 year old niece picked her and won the whole thing.Pick according to themascots. There are always upsets. Every team has acolor schemefor their uniforms and school. Pick in terms of those with the best odds of winning according to events of the past.A Great Video That Captures The Spirit of What Is March MadnessInteresting Facts About The March Madness Tournament You Probably Don’t KnowOdds are over 9 Quintillion To 1 of picking every winner correctly.All winners of the March Madness tournament get to keep the actual board from the court where the championship was played.The NCAA takes all the money they make from the NCAA tournament and reinvests it in the schools and conferences that participate. The winners of those games are called the Elite 8 and then the Final Four play in a semi-finals game leading up to the championship.

The games are electrifying and the enthusiasm seems to grip the nation for just three weeks of exciting action. When there are sixteen teams left in the tournament there are called the Sweet Sixteen. These teams are often led to victory by the strength of one player.When selecting between two teams, choose the one that has more experience in the NCAA tourney. Choosing the one that has been to theMarch Madness

tournamentbefore will be better at handling all the pressure.Read a guide that that analyzes historical data of how far seeds advance in the tournament. It is definitely one of the most exciting periods of the year for sports.

There are four divisions with 16 teams in each division. It definitely is a type of madness that takes over.

March Madness Strategies for Picking Winners

10 Ways To Help You Predict The Winners Of Each Bracket

Bracketology is a term that was coined to name the process of predicting the winners in each of the brackets. Some teams will have a natural home field advantage because they are located at venues nearby the school. Sixty four teams start out in the tournament and they play until there is one team left. Choose which one you like best between each team. Wherever you are during March madness time, all conversation seems to revolve around bracket picks and how your bracket is doing. Use that fact to help you make your picks. Use that information to help you make good picks especially when you have an 8 seed playing a 9 seed.Choose teams that have a player that is considered to be a Super Star. The key is to pick the upsets at the right round. The odds are in your favor to pick the favorites. Leave teams that are seeded #13 to #16 off your bracket. Another popular term is The Big Dance.Number one seeds win over 50% of the games they play in the tournament.March Madness Basketball Tournament ExcitementHow To Pick Winners in the March Madness Tournament

Credit: Pixabay

Additional Tips for Making March Madness Bracket PicksTry to keep upset picks contained to the first couple of rounds. You dont have to have a lot of skill or even know what youre doing to any degree. Its a fun way to pick especially when you dont know a lot about basketball but you still want to play in the bracket pool.Pick the teams that are favored (the ones with the lower seed numbers). If you have a favorite team or one that you have been a loyal fan to all season could make your picks easier to make.Look at the location where the games are being played. People take time off of work to watch the games. Each game a team wins allows them to go on within the bracket. Fans spend time making bracket selections at the office, online or with friends. It is a great way to pass the time in March as we look forward to the coming of Spring. There are sports shows dedicated to their pick strategies along with analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of the various teams and players in the tourney.. They win less than 15% of the time. A #16 team has never won a first round game in the history of the tournament so that can help you make your choice in at least four games.

Picking the winners in the March Madness is not a science. These rankings are known as to how they are seeded or ranked within their specific region with 1 being the top seed and 16 being the worst. The underdogs rarely make it to the Elite 8 or final four. Over 85% of the top seeded teams advance in the first and second rounds. It is a very exciting time for the players, coaches, fan and the media.

Here Is How The NCAA Basketball Tournament Works:

Are there any strategies that work better than others? Maybe, but in the end it can be any teams tournament to win.

Pick the teams who have been winning because they havemomentumin their favor. Sometimes this strategy works just as well as any especially when teams are a toss-up. They keep no profits.The term March Madness has been used since 1939. This is another good way to pick teams when you are undecided. Those teams will have a lot of crazy and loyal fans because they are the hometown favorites. Keep in mind though, that the favorites dont always win.Pick your personal choices just because you like them. It is fun to play the brackets and to see how many winners you have.

What Is March Madness?A little bit of history about the NCAA basketball tournament.

Every year in March the NCAA hosts a tournament for all of the premiere college basketball teams for both men and women. Any team can win although some have a better chance than others. This is a great strategy to pick teams because when a team has things rolling, they often keep it rolling and maybe right into the final four.Pick by team colors