An illegal gambling ring with more than 2,000 bettors in the United States moved millions of dollars through banks and credit card companies and used an overseas website to place the wagers and keep the accounts, the office of the Queens district attorney, Richard A. Brown, said on Wednesday.
A Queens County grand jury indicted 17 people in the case, and all but three are in custody. The arrests were made by law enforcement officials in New York, Nevada and California, where most of the bookmakers and accountants for the ring were based, the office said. The head of the operation was identified as Cyrus Irani, 37, of Santa Clarita, Calif.
Mr. Brown said the ring had collected $32 million in illegal bets on football, basketball, baseball, hockey and other sports. He said Internet gambling was “a multibillion-dollar, worldwide industry.”
“Internet gambling has been compared by some to the crack cocaine epidemic of the late ’80s and early ’90s,” Mr. Brown said in a statement. “It is highly addictive.”