David Hair, a leading member of the upper-echelon management group that ran Platinum Sports Book, was sentenced on Wednesday. The judge sentenced Hair on Wednesday to two years in prison and fined him $3 million.
Platinum was an illegal online credit betting operation (meaning no money was passed in either direction online, but rather via agents), with servers based in Costa Rica. Toronto police arrested most of its operatives in a dramatic raid on a 2013 Super Bowl Party the company had spread for its VIP members.
According to court documents, the operation made around $103 million in gross profits between 2009 and 2013. With 2,700 guests, the party cost $100,000 to stage and featured jetskis as door prizes.
Police arrested 31 people during the raid, Hair included, and later confiscated $4.6 million in illegal betting proceeds. They also seized the PlatinumSB.com domain. But within hours an identical website was up and running, using a .tk domain, signifying registration in the tiny Pacific island of Tokelau.
In the wake of the arrests, police said Platinum used members of the London, Ontario Hell’s Angels Chapter and the Canadian mob as bookmaking agents and enforcers. But while the Hells Angels were certainly involved in the operation, the Mafia ties proved to be unfounded.
In fact, according to court documents, “the 18-month long investigation revealed little evidence of intimidation.”
The judge said Hair had shown “great remorse” by pleading guilty to a charge of bookmaking for a criminal organization. This had spared the court a four to six-month trial. He also noted Hair had complied with conditions of his $400,000 bail over the past five years.
$2 Million Check
On Wednesday, Hair presented the court with a check for $2 million. He has three years to pay the remaining million, or he will face an extra year in prison.
“There was no violence at all in this crime and almost no evidence of intimidation,” said Hair’s lawyer of his client. “He’s a successful legitimate businessman today, who is married to a school teacher and they have a 10-year-old child together.”
Also arrested at the Super Bowl party was Billy Miller, former president of the London and Toronto North chapters of the Hells Angels. He received 15 months for bookmaking for a criminal organization.
Most of the others arrested at the Platinum Super Bowl party have either pleaded guilty to similar offenses — receiving sentences ranging from house arrest and fines to short prison sentences — or have had all charges dropped.