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February 12, 2024

MGA Denies Connection to Crime Boss in Operation Galaxy Investigation

Aaron Mitchell
Written byAaron MitchellWriter
Researched byJavier FernandezResearcher

In the aftermath of Italy's "Operation Galaxy," where authorities seized €400 million ($433 million) in assets connected to organized crime, the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has categorically denied any association with the criminal mastermind behind the illegal gambling ring. The MGA released an official statement affirming its commitment to cooperating with authorities and closely monitoring the case.

MGA Denies Connection to Crime Boss in Operation Galaxy Investigation

Crime Boss Resided in Malta

Operation Galaxy, an ongoing investigation into the intersection of organized crime and gambling, has uncovered a criminal scheme involving online gaming services facilitated through Malta-registered companies. The investigation has revealed that the previously unidentified kingpin behind the illegal gambling ring is Antonio Ricci, an Italian in his late 40s, who allegedly held a prominent management position at a licensed iGaming company.

Ricci, who was previously unnamed, was arrested by Maltese police in April 2019 on charges of money laundering for the mafia. He has been residing in Malta since at least 2010 and has faced legal battles before being deported to Italy. According to police reports, he is currently restricted to his town of residence and prohibited from leaving.

The Italian police recently seized approximately €400 million in assets linked to three interconnected iGaming companies with ties to Ricci. Initial reports suggested that Ricci was directly involved with at least one of these businesses, using it as a front to launder significant sums obtained from illegal gambling rings across Europe.

MGA Refutes Involvement with Ricci

Operation Galaxy has revealed that Ricci's organization extended its influence abroad through companies with offices in various European jurisdictions. By transferring most of the proceeds from illegal activities abroad and evading Italian tax authorities, the group managed to avoid detection. Contacts with criminal organizations provided protection and helped attract new customers.

In response to the case's implications and its widespread coverage in Italian and international media, the MGA promptly addressed the situation, stating that Ricci has no affiliation with any iGaming company licensed by the MGA. The regulator emphasized its close collaboration with local and international authorities and its commitment to closely monitoring further developments.

The MGA's official statement clarifies that Ricci does not have any ownership stake in any gaming company licensed by the MGA. This swift clarification underscores the MGA's dedication to upholding the integrity of its licensed operators and distancing itself from any connections to criminal elements. As the investigation progresses, regulatory bodies like the MGA must remain vigilant in safeguarding the credibility of the gambling industry and fostering a secure environment for operators and players.

About the author
Aaron Mitchell
Aaron Mitchell
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Aaron "SlotScribe" Mitchell, Ireland's very own slot enthusiast, effortlessly merges the classic tales of the Emerald Isle with the digital spins of today. As a prolific writer for SlotsRank, he unveils the magic behind the reels, captivating readers across the globe.

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