Twenty-two million dollars in sports bets were placed since March 2006 at the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa in Atlantic City, New Jersey.The problem is, there are no legal sportsbooks in the famous gambling city.

On Wednesday, law enforcement officials put an end to the illegal gambling ring, arresting eighteen people, among them four men with mob ties, as well as casino employees.The ringleader, Andrew Micali, is reportedly an associate of Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino, the Philadelphia mob boss.Five other people were charged, but are still being sought for arrest.The two primary charges across the board are promoting gambling and money laundering.

One would think that a major operation such as this would be hard to keep on the down-low, but it took a hard look at the “eye in the sky” security camera footage and help from an informant to spot the illegal activity.

The sportsbook operators would accept cash from customers and exchange it for chips with the “rogue” casino employees.The chips would then be put into play on the casino floor and eventually cashed out again.This money laundering process is called “washing.”Getting casino employees, which included a poker room supervisor, dealers, and a bartender, involved helped the operators avoid detection.

Authorities found $40,000 in Micali’s safe deposit box at the Borgata, as well as over $200,000 in his bank account, which was frozen.

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