Money laundering in Italian casinos?

Money laundering in Italian casinos?

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As if the economic crisis that has hit them in recent years were not enough, Italian casinos are grappling with another problem, one that is certainly not minor and therefore not insignificant.

In fact, the Direzione Investigativa Antimafia (DIA) has launched an investigation to determine whether some organized crime figures in Italy are using gambling halls to launder dirty money. More detail

The operation is inspired by a decree of the Ministry of the Interior approved in January by which the Director of the DIA is given the power to carry out control actions in Italian gambling houses, in line with the strategic objectives delegated to the Anti-Mafia Investigative Directorate.

Operation Minotaur

A couple of weeks ago, DIA agents visited all four Italian casinos in the context of what was dubbed 'Operation Minotauro.' The aim of the investigation was to map in detail the flows of money of illicit origin that poured in, turned into chips, on the green tables, and then came out cleaned.Investigators showed up with a number of black lists of names under observation to be cross-referenced with lists of clients provided by the casinos. A number of names popped up among the records of the casinos that were already on the watch list, thus confirming what law enforcement had suspected. In Saint-Vincent - where the most sensational investigations and results seem to have been concentrated - at least four characters belonging to the 'ndrangheta appear among the names of the entrances. In Sanremo the presence of people with specific precedents for Camorra-style criminal association and others close to 'ndranghetist circles has been ascertained. In Venice, there are about ten names of customers with high acquaintances handed over by the casino's top management to investigators.

In the administrative offices, the DIA is examining the number of entries made by the reported individuals, the money changed into chips, the takings, and all the documentation useful to unmask possible fraud. The operation immediately yielded important findings, in part because all casinos are showing full cooperation.

With particular reference to the Val d'Aosta, to some the DIA raid will have reminded them of the one made in 1983, when a similar investigation led to the arrest of the President of the Region, Mario Andrione, and the replacement of the management class of the Saint Vincent Casino.

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We are not at these levels, but surely the problem is serious and must be addressed immediately, also and above all for the good name of the Aosta Valley gambling hall - as well as all the others - and of those who frequent it fairly.