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MGA Denies Ties to Criminal Mastermind in Italy’s ‘Operation Galaxy’

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In response to Italy’s “Operation Galaxy”, a major crackdown on organized crime linked to illegal gambling, the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has rejected any association with the operation’s key suspect, Antonio Ricci. The authority has said that it will continue cooperating with law enforcement agencies and following the case.

Operation Galaxy and Its Findings

“Operation Galaxy”, an extensive investigation into the links between organized crime and the iGaming industry, uncovered a sophisticated illegal operation. This scheme reportedly utilized online gaming services operated through companies registered in Malta. Central to this operation was Antonio Ricci, an Italian in his late forties, who allegedly held an important position in a Malta-based licensed iGaming company.

Ricci, arrested in Malta in April 2019 for money laundering on behalf of the mafia, has been a resident of the island since at least 2010. Despite previous legal issues, Ricci managed to maintain his operations until his eventual deportation to Italy. He remains under restricted movement in his hometown.

Italian authorities recently confiscated assets worth approximately €400 million linked to three iGaming companies connected to Ricci. Early findings suggest his direct involvement with at least one company, allegedly using it to launder money from illegal gambling activities across Europe.

MGA’s Stance on the Matter

The MGA quickly issued a statement emphasizing that Ricci has no association with any of its licensed iGaming entities. In its statement, the MGA emphasized its ongoing collaboration with both local and international law enforcement to ensure the integrity of its licensed operations.

The Authority would like to clarify that the individual being named at the center of the operation… does not, in any capacity, form part of the ownership structures of any gaming company that is licensed by the MGA.

Official StatementMalta Gaming Authority

Ricci’s criminal network reportedly extended beyond Italy, with operations in several European countries, effectively laundering illicit funds and evading tax authorities. The MGA’s prompt response highlights its dedication to maintaining a clean and trustworthy gambling industry, free from criminal influence.

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