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Chicago Police Shut Down Illegal Sportsbook

When casinos first began promoting organized gambling and betting on sports, many of these casinos were owned and operated by the mob. This is especially true in the gambling capital of north America, the city of Las Vegas. But did you know that the mob still has ties to the gambling world today? How much so may just surprise you.

The History of The Mob

The mob is often also referred to by the name the mafia, and is widely known as a criminal organization. With roots in Italy, it is hard to trace back just when organized crime began, but the first records of Italian organized crime in the US were recorded in the spring of 1869 in the city of New Orleans, Louisiana.

Over the next few decades, the Italian Mafia started to move their operations to New York City where they began to take over Italian neighborhoods in the city. They remained prominent in both New York and New Orleans until 1920. The year 1919 marked the beginning of prohibition when alcohol was declared illegal in the US. This event was fodder to the organized crime world which quickly expanded to fill the ever-growing demand for illegally obtained and brewed alcohol. And with the political situation crumbling in Italy, many immigrants decided they would prefer to work for the mob than suffer under Mussolini’s rule.

It was in the 1940’s when the mafia began moving much of its operations out to the desert city of Las Vegas. It was here that the process of skimming money from the casinos became popular. And for those who are unfamiliar, this is where money would be stolen from the money counting rooms of casinos before it was counted, meaning it could be taken untaxed and unrecorded. The US government couldn’t put a stop to any of the mob’s dealings as law enforcement was typically paid off and anyone who spoke against the mob was quickly silenced by a mysterious death. The mafia owned and operated six large casinos and many smaller ones in the city of Las Vegas during this time period.


In the 1970’s the Lucchese mafia family was the first official family to move into the illegal sports betting industry. They did so by offering bets on their local college basketball team. And they would ensure that bets made on the team would go their way by bribing or threatening team members of the teams for which they would take bets. This was good timing on the part of the Lucchese family, as it was during this period that the mafia began to lose its strong hold on the Las Vegas economy due to new regulations.

But That Was Ancient History?

Many people think that the mob disappeared sometime in the 1980’s. And while this was the decade which saw the end of these ruling families, it certainly wasn’t the end of the mafia. In fact, the mafia is still operating several legalized crime rings today, the majority of which are still centered in Chicago and Las Vegas. They have also added other cities to their docket however, and they operate out of New York City and Denver as well. And these groups which have survived now enjoy much more freedom as the US government has switched its focus to terrorism rather than worrying about the localized illegal crime. The mafia is still heavily involved in drug smuggling, sex trafficking, and underground illegal gambling today.

The Mob in Chicago

Therefore, it should come as no surprise that in October 2020, the FBI unearthed and shut down an illegal underground sportsbook being run by the mob in Chicago. This sportsbook was run by a man by the name Gregory Paloian.

According to the FBI, Paloian had agents who would recruit gamblers and have them use a certain website to place online sports bets. This website would take bets on professional football, basketball, baseball, and hockey. He would also take bets on college sports as well. And during the time period he ran this illegal sportsbook, he would file tax returns indicating that he had lost money during the year, when he was actually bringing in close to $100,000 through this sportsbook.

Much of this was made possible because Paloian was paying off a Chicago police officer to look the other way. A man by the name John Amablie, was charged on April 13th with being involved in the running of the illegal sportsbook. Amablie was discovered because of the FBI’s wiretapping program and physical surveillance they ran on Paloian during the course of their investigation.

Upon further investigation, it has been found that Amablie’s grandfather was in the mafia, working for a notorious boss by the name Sam Battaglia. But if his name sounds familiar to you, it’s probably because you are familiar with Joe Amablie, John’s brother, who was featured on ABC’s the Bachelorette, as well as on Dancing with the Stars. Paloian was also found to have mob ties of his own, most notably John “Quarters” Boyle, who faced criminal charges of his own in 2005 for another illegal business the two men were running.


Of course the media can’t for sure implicate these men as members of the notorious mafia, but based on the circumstances, the judge presiding over the case of Paloian did comment that this was a business run by the mafia for the profit of the mafia. This means that even the Chicago government acknowledges that the mafia is still operating and making money from crime. But for these two men to admit they are a part of the organization, well, it would still likely mean a mysterious death for them, even in today’s modern society.

What Does This Mean?

Well, if you want to place sports bets, you should definitely do so through a reputable site. Although you won’t face charges from betting through an illegal site run by the mob as mentioned above, it is important to note that the mafia engages in a number of shady practices which could lead to you not being paid money you are owed. Or your family members or friends could be hurt for various reasons if you anger the individual running the site you are betting on.

Thus, you should do your best to always verify the sites you are placing your sports bets on. Make sure they are run by a legitimate company which offers good odds that will always pay out when you win. But also keep in mind that betting on sports is considered gambling, and make sure that it is legal in your state or country before you engage in the activity.

Bitcoin sports betting | Btc betting | Illegal gambling | Illegal sports betting | Mob sports betting

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