Another group of Lucchese family bookies has been busted by the Brooklyn District Attorney's office. All of the families seem to be going back to their bread and butter businesses.
Gambling and loansharking go hand in hand. The penalties are not even close to drug charges.
This time Eugene “Boopsie” Castelle, a Lucchese soldier, was the defacto leader of this crew. During the six months they were watched by law enforcement, they took in 13 million dollars.
This was a pretty standard operation, run by Anthony Grecco who handled the day to day business with the other agents or shareholders.
They used the website www.stakestake.com and they also had an 800 number you could call in Costa Rica. This is the way it works. Agents or sheetholders are your local bookies, guys in bars or clubs. If you know them, they will give you a codename and you will either post money to bet or you get credit. Let's say you post $1000. You can go to the website and place bets or call them in until your money or limit is used up.
The wire room is located in Costa Rica, and they record all the calls. This way there is no grey area later on dealing with the bets that were placed. If you win or lose, Tuesday or Wednesday is typically “settle up” day. You either pay or get paid. Back when I was involved in this sort of crime, if it was not more than a thousand owed to us, we didn't bother meeting anyone.
Each agent or sheet holder is responsible for his bettors. He must decide if they post or not and how much their limit should be. He must collect and drop off every week.
Anthony Grecco would meet with the other agents/sheetholders every week to settle up.
Every six weeks Anthony Grecco would pay the wire room in Costa Rica a per head fee for the bettors using the service.
This system works well, because bookmaking is legal in Costa Rica.
Who really profits from gambling? In the case of major sports, it’s not only the bookmakers, but also the broadcasters and the leagues. Think about college sports. They do not pay the athletes, yet they schools and broadcasters pull down billions of dollars.
Monday night football was created because all the betters wanted a chance to win back some of their losses from over the weekend. Why do all the papers and websites list the point spread? If your team was losing, you would stop watching after a certain time - but with a spread it keeps you interested.
So the DA’s office shut these guys down. Does that stop gambling? No bettors will still bet.
They charged Anthony Grecco with money laundering because he made the payments to Costa Rica.
They also charged Anthony Grecco with loan sharking for charging over 25% for loans.
I wonder if the law enforcement could better spend their time going after the guys who blast each other every night in the streets. Nobody forces you to take a loan out. I get that morally it is wrong but people are willing to do a lot of immoral things for money. Why does the Government have to get into what should be personal responsibility?
Eugene “Boopsie” Castelle is no stranger to trouble. He was the capo in charge of the Bensonhurst crew of the Lucchese family after Georgie “Neck” Zappola went away. He has a brother named Anthony who is in carting and gambling.
The Mafia goes on.