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Emily D. Swoboda

Louisiana Authorities Net Tiny Tuna

2 November 2007

The Louisiana State Police have busted three men who ran an illegal online sports betting operation, but it may not necessarily have been an Internet gambling business.

The arrests came out of an eight-month investigation into a local Web site called The Tiny Tuna, which took bets on a variety of sporting events -- a violation of Louisiana state law LRS 14:230, or gambling by computer.

Lt. Lawrence McLeary, spokesperson for the Louisiana State Police Gambling Enforcement Division, told IGN bets were taken on the site, but paid out in person.

"What [players would] do on the Web is [they] were given a credit limit and then as [they] either won or lost, [they] met with the bookie in New Orleans and either paid him in person or collected in person," McLeary said.

But to gain access to the site, a bettor would first have to place a bet with a live bookie or a runner, gain their trust, and then they would be given a password to the Web site, according to McLeary.

McLeary could not comment, however, on how investigators gained access to the Web site.

Furthermore, he told the New Orleans Times-Picayune that investigators could not determine how much money the operation earned because they were unable to track bets placed on the site.

All three men were charged with gambling by computer, money laundering and criminal conspiracy. But Muscarrelo and Walters also charged with Louisiana racketeering, and Walters faces additional charges of marijuana possession and illegal possession of a slot machine.

Louisiana Authorities Net Tiny Tuna is republished from
Emily D. Swoboda
Emily D. Swoboda