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Broward County Sheriff Seeks Asset Forfeiture Of Illegal Gambling Profits


A recent case out of Broward County finds a sheriff requesting a judge’s permission to seize multiple assets from an illegal gambling ring in excess of $2 million dollars. Even though no one has been charged, 4 people have been notified via target letter that they are the subject of a criminal investigation into bookmaking, illegal gambling, and laundering. Illegal enterprise was ongoing for at least three years and identified by an anonymous tip to authorities. Apparently local casino dealers and workers were recruited in a scheme to lengthen and profitability of the criminal enterprise. What exactly is bookmaking?

What is bookmaking?

Sports betting is illegal in West Palm Beach and the majority of Florida. There is an active court case pending between the Seminole Indian tribe and the State of Florida regarding online sports betting. The sports betting through the Hard Rock casino began on November 1st and has since halted pending the results of the lawsuit. Any proceeds that players at casinos make must be reported gambling winnings on federal and state taxes. The persons named in this investigation are believed to have laundered millions of dollars in illegal winnings some of which was in cash and the rest in property.

Bookmaking is the process of holding and taking bets for the outcome of a sports betting game taking place illegally. Bookies charge a fee for accepting a gambler’s  guess on the outcome of the game. If the gambler is right he gets a percentage of what he bet back from the bookie. The bookie receives pay off bets on the outcome of illegal sports betting, gambling, horse racing,  and other organized crime enterprises. The penalty for bookmaking is a third- degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison. Fla. Stat. §849.25.

What is illegal sports betting?

Sports betting continues to remain illegal in Florida due to a prior ruling invalidating the Seminole Tribe’s online sports betting platform. Many other states also have laws prohibiting legal sports betting platforms or venues from operating within state lines. Part of the rationale behind this decision is that online sports betting platforms would draw dollars away from physical casinos. However, as long as there is a demand for sports betting and gambling, illicit activity may continue. In Florida, the penalty for illegal sports betting is a second-degree misdemeanor. Penalties may vary based on the nature of the charges including whether a scheme was involved, whether slot machines were used or if phony chips were made for the purposes of the gambling operation. The crime of money laundering also carries additional penalties.

Contact West Palm Beach Attorney William Wallshein

If you or a loved one is facing charges for a potential crime, it is crucial you contact an experienced West Palm Beach criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Attorney William Wallshein is a demonstrated leader in the West Palm Beach area who goes to work defending his clients from all walks of life. He is dedicated to preserving their civil liberties and that each client gets his day in court. Call today for a free, confidential consultation.





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