Ontario Provincial Police continues with the charges on individuals that have allegedly overseen an illegal gambling ring spanning across Ontario. This week saw the Canada Revenue Agency execute a total of twelve search and other judicial warrants across the province which ended up swelling the already seized assets with CA$24 million, further shedding light on the situation.
It could be recalled that back in December 2019, Ontario Provincial Police unveiled its extensive investigation into a supposed illegal gambling ring in the Mississauga region. Five gambling webpages operating without a license were located and associated with Hells Angels members overseeing them for years. Allegations back then pointed towards an extensive gambling ring covering the province and seeking sports betting enthusiasts.
The last days of 2019 were productive for the provincial police and various enforcement organizations teamed up for the successful Project HOBART. As many as 18 agencies worked hard in order to unearth the gambling ring offering illegal sports wagering. Allegations back then pointed towards some CA$131 million amassed over the past five years of daily sports betting operation.
Between January 2019 and June 2019, the organized ring succeeded in generating some CA$13 million. The headquarters of this illegal gambling ring was located in Mississauga, where the five online sportsbooks were based. They go by the names of Ultimate SB, Titan SB, PlaytoWin SB, Privada SB, and Players SB, making them easy for memorization and daily use by many Ontario sports betting enthusiasts. Project HOBART launched at the beginning of 2018 and saw results in December 2019.
As many as 28 individuals were arrested back then, charging them with as many as 228 offenses. Residential properties, assets, luxury vehicles, cash, jewelry, and more amounting to some CA$12 million were also seized during the police raid. This week was productive as well, as July 29 saw twelve more warrants executed. They spanned over London, Oakville, Toronto, Pickering, Welland, and Thornbury.
The assets seized during these most recent warrants amounted to some CA$24 million and they include a total of three residences and one vacant property, as many as eight vehicles and a motorcycle. When it comes to the financial assets seized during the organized raids, they range across three land development companies. Cash located during the police raids amounted to some CA$82,590 along with US$25,398.
During the search warrants and other judicial warrants, some 7 kilograms of Psilocybin and .5 kilogram of marihuana were also seized. They amount to a total of CA$66,986. Along with the seized assets, three more people were charged with money laundering and proceeds of crime. Hells Angels member Robert Barletta was once again arrested with charges of money laundering and tax evasion.
September 17 is going to see the eight accused individuals make their way before the Ontario Court of Justice in Brampton. Illegal gambling harms the provincial economy and deprives legal sports wagering offerings from the gaming revenue they could be amassing otherwise.