The Chicago Sun-Times reported on Sunday that as football season begins so does increased online gambling activity.
Chicago bookies have embraced the technology that once almost forced them out of business.
BetChicago312.com is similar to mainstream gambling sites Sportsbook or Bovada with the exception that placing a bet requires a password and an existing member vouch for you.
With the NFL season underway, a member of the site referred to only as John, estimates that as many as 1,000 members gamble through BetChicago312.com. According to John, the outfit is actively recruiting additional members and is looking to make ‘hundreds of thousands of dollars per week’.
John says: ‘‘The people behind this are on such a professional level. It is a different animal — the guys running the show are winning. They’re making the money. The main guy probably has $3 to $4 million of cash on hand because people make $30,000 bets on a single game.’’
Members like John can bet on anything from NFL games to “Dancing with the Stars”.
The Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act passed by Congress in ’06 has made it much more difficult to bet online and collect winnings. Part of the act prohibits financial institutions from knowingly accepting payments in connection with online gambling.
‘‘Of course, football season is where the most action comes,” says Bob Loeb, a Chicago-based criminal defense attorney. “It’s a losing battle to think the government can shut down sports gambling.’’
With the exception of Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey, online gambling is still illegal in the states.
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