Internet gambling bust in Serbia

Claims that over $750 000 flowed from online sports betting venture

Spokesmen for the Serbian police in Belgrade told local media Wednesday that two men are being held in custody following a major Internet gambling bust. The two suspects were not named, and the allegedly unauthorised sports betting website was not identified.

Serbian media reported that the arrests are the first-ever in connection with online betting, quoting an Interior Ministry official.

The suspects allegedly made more than 55 million dinars (US$ 750 000 dollars) since they began offering bets on football, basketball, tennis and hockey matches in Europe and North America in 2005.

They took payments by credit card and had the income transferred to their accounts from various offshore firms, paying no taxes on their unregistered business, officials claimed.

Following a raid by the police Euros 60 000 in cash, several computers and two cars were seized and are being held.

Sport betting in Serbia is legal and extremely popular, the press reports noted, but the ministry has promised to crack down on those operating without permits.

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