As Malta continues to try to clean up its image in the gaming industry, it’s going to have to deal with a new problem. An iGaming company registered in the country and licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) is now the focus of unwanted attention. Bet90 Sports is in the crosshairs after it was revealed that it launched on the backs of over $235 million stolen from unwitting individuals through a massive Europe-wide scam.
Bet90 Sports Gets Unwanted Attention
According to The Shift, citing information from the whistleblower website Fintelegram.com, Bet90 Sports has a sordid history that could now rock its foundation. It could also cause it to lose some of its gaming partners, including NetEnt, Microgaming and Evolution Gaming, if the latter determine that they don’t want to be associated with a company with a dark past. There are still more questions than answers at this point, but investigations are undoubtedly already underway.
Bet90 is alleged to be linked to Iosif Galea, a former officer of Malta’s Lotteries and Gaming Authority, the entity that preceded the MGA. He is also tied to John Dalli, the former European Union Commissioner who resigned in the wake of the investigation into the assassination of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. Galea was previously investigated by Italian law enforcement for his role in helping the ‘Ndrangheta mafia launder money and was also the director of Betsolutions4u, a company that existed to help criminals legitimize capital and conceal their identities. Galea is still reportedly operating as an executive for several iGaming companies in Malta.
The iGaming platform is also linked to Uwe Lenhoff, who died under mysterious circumstances in jail as he was waiting to appear in court for his role in a massive financial fraud case that spanned the European continent. Lenhoff allegedly had a role in the operations, which used companies and illegal call centers across Europe to bilk more than $235 million from unsuspecting elderly victims. Over 200,000 individuals are said to have fallen for the scam. Lenhoff reportedly helped launder the proceeds.
Well before his death, Lenhoff had co-founded Veltyco, a holding company that had a number of operations in place. Among the entities attributed to him were Option888, Xmarkets, LottoPalace and TradoVest. Among all the companies uncovered during the investigation, one other name stood out – Bet90 Sports Limited. Veltyco would ultimately become B90 Holdings PLC, a publicly traded company, with Galea serving as its director.
Intricate Web of Deception
Fintelegram points out that the issues don’t stop there. Nexia BT, an audit firm that was taken down for alleged money laundering and the falsification of documents, is also intrinsically linked to Bet90. The firm’s Brian Tonna was arrested for the illegal activity and is now being prosecuted for his actions, but paper trails uncovered as part of the investigation have revealed that Bet90 was funded through Winslet Enterprises and Payific, which have been identified as scam companies that deal in money laundering.
More information about the saga and the questionable operations are still to surface as Bet90 comes into the unwanted spotlight. However, Fintelegram’s personnel need to be careful. The last time a whistleblower spilled the beans in a case tied to Lenhoff, he died just before he was to testify in court (the police said his death was a result of heart failure, even though he was only 34 years old).