Two Israeli siblings, one living abroad and the other a Tel Aviv resident, are suspected of heading the network. Other suspects, who police believe were involved in providing technical support to the websites, and managing finances and payments, were also detainedNational Police Investigations Unit detectives and an internet gambling task force from the Lahav 433 unit also detained a number of gamblers and other people involved in the case. The suspects are slated to stand remand hearing on Tuesday at the Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s Court.
Just last month the Lahav 433 unit’s special task force uncovered another gambling network that rolled in hundreds of millions of shekels. But while last month’s case involved a rather primitive system, in which a messenger would arrive to collect or hand out money to the gamblers, Tuesday’s case revealed a much more sophisticated system which allowed participants to gamble with their credit cards.
The cluster of gambling websites is believed to have been operating via a server in Eastern Europe. But the fact that the websites were directed at Israeli surfers, written in the Hebrew language, and allowed users to gamble using their credit cards, led to the ruling that the websites in question were operating illegally.
The gambling, which is believed to have been carried out via credit cards and bank transfers, included betting on sports such as world soccer, American football, baseball, boxing, tennis and hockey. It also included online poker and casino games with live dealers via webcam.