Malta-licensed live casino technology outfit Medialive Casino Ltd has caught a break from an Italian judge in relation to the 2017 arrests of two company directors.
In November 2017, Italian authorities launched Operation Double Jack, which targeted a network of retail betting shops offering online gambling via computer terminals connected to Malta-based sites. These terminals weren’t connected to the Italian gambling regulator’s monitoring systems and thus the revenue they generated escaped local taxation.
Among the individuals detained in the 2017 raids were two Medialive directors, Massimiliano Fullin and Fabio Veglianetti. The pair, who denied involvement in any criminality, were eventually released from custody but the Florence prosecutors froze over €8.4m of the company’s funds.
Shortly before Christmas, Medialive issued a press release indicating that Angelo Pezzuti, magistrate of the Court of Florence, had reduced the amount of funds subject to seizure to €685k, which the company says it has “entirely already paid.”
Pezzuti reportedly based his ruling on the fact that online gambling was subject to a lower tax rate than Italy’s land-based gaming machines and the Florence prosecutors hadn’t challenged him on this apparent miscalculation.
Medialive’s Fullin said he always had faith that the legal system would see things his way, and “the reduction of the preventive seizure to less than one tenth of the initial amount can only confirm my position.”
Throughout this process, Medialive steadfastly denied any intentional criminality, with one rep telling CalvinAyre.com last spring that the whole brouhaha was due to “a small underpayment in tax,” although the rep claimed at the time the amount owed was only €60k, not €685k.
Medialive’s presser thanked gambling regulators in both Malta and the UK for not revoking their licenses following the arrests, and also thanked the company’s Italian customers for their ability to “filter the news that appeared in the press and rely solely on the quality and reliability of the product.”