How the Mob Makes Money In the New Millennium

I came across an article on Salon.com that goes into how the mob is primarily filling its coffers these days, what with the old workhorses like large-scale union corruption pretty much gone.

"With the Boardwalk Empire bootlegging days a distant memory, street gangs selling drugs, and Vegas prostitution only a short Southwest flight away, a startled public is left wondering: How does the modern Mafioso make a living?" the article queries, then serves up its answer: Craigslist sex trafficking (which that website has since banned), offshore Internet gambling, and wind energy.

"Sure, the Mafia still traffics heroin, extorts businesses, and kills people. But today's gangster—like any good venture capitalist—has adapted to the times. It's not that the Mob is necessarily branching into new industries. It's just that they've pushed age-old breadwinners—prostitution, gambling, and money laundering—to new levels (or depths) in order to compete in an increasingly globalized economy."


It continues, "More so than prostitution, illegal Internet sports gambling generates huge profits. Legally speaking, online gambling is a gray area. Last June, Congress enacted the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, barring the transaction of "unlawful Internet gambling" funds through banks. Although the wording is vague, there is no doubt that wagering on sporting events and races across state lines is illegal. Seeing an opportunity, the Mafia set up Web sites in Costa Rica—one of several South American and Caribbean countries where online sports betting is legal—to process online bets placed back home in New York. .... [Nevertheless] In 2008, the Queens District Attorney charged the Gambino family with [offshore] illegal sports and casino-style gambling operations."

And, "Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, the Mafia has begun stealing millions from the EU through a sure-fire scheme—wind energy." If that one has you scratching your head like I am, click the links.

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