It was reported that York Regional Police, with assistance from the RCMP, raided the Le Parc Banquet Hall in Markham the night of the Superbowl – seizing millions in cash and computers operating the Platinum Sportsbook online casino. Authorities have now linked the operation to the Hell’s Angels motorcycle gang, and charge London chapter President Billy Miller with illegal bookmaking and operating an illicit common gaming house.
RCMP Acting Superintendent Keith Finn says the Platinum casino operates from a server located in Costa Rica, which means it is unlicensed to serve the Canadian market. Despite this, the site remains a local business with thousands of gamblers placing bets on big events such as the Superbowl. Finn says the site is made local through enforced gambling debt collection from associates of H.A.
“What makes it local is how you collect the money. You need to be able to back up the threats.”
The police raid led to charges against six individuals operating the illegal gambling operation, including Miller. Search warrants had been executed in the weeks leading up to the Superbowl as police followed a digital paper trail of online betting activity in regions in and around the GTA. Miller maintains operations back and forth between Toronto and London, and Finn says authorities raided London property as part of the investigation. The RCMP officer also says this was the eighth year that Markham was home to an illegal Superbowl betting party sponsored by H.A.
Police found over $2.5 million in cash at the banquet hall, and took 20 computers that were operating the Platinum Sportsbook into evidence. The online casino domain name was seized by the RCMP, and gamblers who attempt to access the site are redirected to a website describing the joint investigation. Finn says there were over 17,000 hits on the site in the few days following the Superbowl.