February 16, 2016: Dollaro Network, the illegal Italian online poker network, with ties to the Italian mob, is allegedly still open for business despite a January raid from Italian authorities that resulted in 11 arrests.
Infamous Italian online poker network Dollaro is still operational.
Why is that a big deal?
Last month, Italian authorities raided the gaff; arrested 11 people and confiscated assets worth an estimated € 10 mio.
According to Pokerfuse scribe, Jocelyn Wood, cash game traffic stats for the Dollaro Network showed an average of 512 seats filled with people wanting to get in on some cash game action.
Francesco Rodano, head of remote gaming at the Italian gaming regulator Amministrazione Autonoma dei Monopoli di Stado – Autonomous Administration of the State Monopolie (AAMS), expressed his dismay to Gambling Compliance when he explained how complicated it was to clamp down on cross-border online operations.
“The illegal business leaders were captured, but the site is still functioning and accessible: I do not know why but it is a matter beyond our control, and that can be repeated,” said Rodano.
Dollaro Network January raids
The January raid was called “The Imitation Game” after the 2014 film starring Benedict Cumberbatch. The Brit played math genius, Alan Turing, the man believed to have cracked the Enigma code during the second world war. It seems the Italian version didn’t have the same impact.
Before that January raid, the Dollaro network was accessible via 12,000 online gaming and video lottery terminals standing in brick and mortar buildings throughout Italy. Players used a password to access the site and play on Dollaro Poker. The network was set up in Romania, and the servers were based in Tampa, Florida.
The two highest profile arrests included gaming industry bigwig Luigi Tancredi and mafia boss Nicola “Rocco” Fernia,. It was reported that the Ndrangheta Group, of which Fernia was said to have been the boss, was making more money through their illegal slot machine business than trafficking drugs.
Gambling Compliance also managed to get a word with the President of the Romanian national office for gambling, Cristinela Odeta Nestor, and she told them that there was no evidence linking Dollaro Poker with networks emanating out of Romania, and, therefore, it was “not possible to prevent them from operating.”