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Big Business of Illegal Gambling

The Big Business of Illegal Gambling

Across the United States, billions are being made outside the law. Illegal gambling may conjure images of mobsters, bookies, and threats of violence…but while that underground world still exists, technology has made illegal gambling much more accessible. The same computer you use for work or to connect with friends can be used to wager outside the law. It's a thriving illegal business hiding in plain sight.

CNBC Investigates takes you inside the high-stakes world of illegal gambling where some people are cashing in while others face prison terms or even death. Follow the money trail to discover who controls this multi-billion dollar business.

Web Extras

  • The Big Payoff  Tuesday, 15 Dec 2009 | 12:01 AM ET

    Illegal gambling is one of the biggest underground industries in the world. Millions gamble illegally, whether it's the office pool or the big game - nearly ten billion dollars is wagered illegally each year on the Super Bowl alone.

  • Vegas Runner  Tuesday, 15 Dec 2009 | 12:02 AM ET

    For some, gambling is a full-time job. This man, known as "Vegas Runner", takes his job seriously -- he says it doesn't hurt any one and provides him a good living. But unlike casual gamblers who will bet on nearly anything, professional gamblers tend to focus on just one thing.

  • Scott Damiani  Tuesday, 15 Dec 2009 | 12:03 AM ET

    While illegal gambling can have huge paydays, it can also have serious consequences. Scott Damiani learned the hard way. He lost his home, his business and almost his life to gambling.

  • Gambling and other Addictions  Thursday, 10 Dec 2009 | 12:00 AM ET

    Rep. Bob Goodlate, (R-VA) says gambling is addictive, leading many people to encounter serious problems.

  • Gambling & the Mob  Tuesday, 15 Dec 2009 | 12:04 AM ET

    Restaurant owner Nick Sarillo freelanced as a bookie. He defied the Chicago mob, otherwise known as "the Outfit," and was nearly killed.

  • How the Mob Makes its Cash  Thursday, 10 Dec 2009 | 12:00 AM ET

    Chicago Assistant District Attorney Marcus Funk explains how the mob'€™s biggest source of income is from gambling.

  • On-Line Illegal Gambling  Tuesday, 15 Dec 2009 | 12:05 AM ET

    Jay Cohen was prosecuted for running an online bookmaking operation. His company, "World Sports Exchange," operated in Antigua, where Cohen thought what he was doing was legal.

  • Convicted Felon Jay Cohen  Thursday, 10 Dec 2009 | 12:00 AM ET

    Jay Cohen, the first American prosecuted for running an illegal gambling website, discusses his lengthy term in federal prison.

  • Illegal Gambing Monday, 14 Dec 2009 | 4:30 PM ET

    How much do you know about illegal gambling? Take the following quiz and find out.

About Big Business of Illegal Gambling

  • CNBC Investigates: Illegal gambling where fortunes are on the line and lives hang in the balance.

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