In the United Kingdom and a man has reportedly been forced to surrender almost £140,000 ($182,000) after being found guilty of running illegal lottery services from his personal Facebook page.
According to a Friday report from The Northern Echo newspaper, the unidentified 27-year-old offender lived in Middlesbrough and was issued with the seizure order late last month after the Gambling Commission regulator and local economic crime officers conducted a thorough investigation. The source detailed that this probe commenced in July of 2020 and subsequently found that the suspect had been offering large amounts of lottery-style entertainment including ‘raffles’ and ‘bonus ball’ games via his own social media channels.
Located in the northeast of England, Middlesbrough is reportedly home to around 175,000 people and was recently designated as one of the country’s most economically deprived areas. The examination purportedly also found that the offender could have processed thousands of illicit lottery transactions via his own bank accounts although it still remains unclear as to how much he may have ultimately profited.
Under the provisions of the Gambling Act of 2005 and The Northern Echo reported that the types of lottery entertainment being offered by the Middlesbrough man are the sole preserve of charities and other ‘good causes’. In essence and the newspaper disclosed that the legislation forbids private individuals from offering such games for commercial gain unless they can qualify for an exemption.
A statement from the Gambling Commission reportedly read…
“Illegal lotteries including those taking place through social media channels will continue to be a focus for our enforcement work as we link up closely with police forces and platforms like Facebook to pinpoint not only the activity but those behind it and those who are breaching gambling rules and social media standards.”
Speaking about the confiscation and Sergeant Suzanne Boulton from Cleveland Police reportedly thanked the Gambling Commission for its help in conducting the investigation and ‘providing evidence that supported our enquiries’. The officer furthermore purportedly declared that the outcome of this endeavor should serve as ‘a stark warning’ to anyone involved in running an illegal lottery that they ‘can expect to find themselves the focus of intense scrutiny’ and be asked to forfeit ‘any so-called ill-gotten gains.’
Reportedly read a statement from Boulton…
“This was a complex investigation and our officers, in particular Detective Constable Deborah Southall, conducted a comprehensive investigation to achieve this outcome. No one should profit from criminal activity and the Proceeds of Crime Act enables police and partner agencies to confiscate cash including money held in bank accounts and other physical assets gained through illegal means.”