A computer geek who ran a website for the massive Internet-based Platinum Sports Book was fined $400,000 for his involvement in the illegal gambling scheme.
Gordon Baird, 59, of London, Ont., pleaded guilty to bookmaking and contributing to the activities of a criminal organization, which included some high-ranking members of the London Hells Angels.
•The Platinum Sports Book grossed over $103 million in intermittent periods from 2009-2013, an audit stated.
•It was based on a sophisticated, organized pyramid structure.
•The pyramid involved cells consisting of bookies and sub-agents who dealt directly with bettors.
•The upper echelon did the accounting and provided debt collection — with threats of violence, if necessary.
Baird, who had no prior record and a good working history, was handed an 18-month conditional, stay-at-home sentence and 12 months probation.
He was fined $400,000 fine and has already paid $50,000. He has a year to pay the rest or be imprisoned for three years, said Justice John McMahon.
Platinum Sports Book employed hundreds of bookies who served thousands of bettors within the GTA with computers run out of Costa Rica, said Crown attorney Matthew Bloch.
Baird “was the administrator of the website” in Costa Rica, said Bloch.
Platinum hosted a huge Super Bowl party with up to 3,000 guests that cost more than $100,000 in Markham.
Officers from the organized crime section of RCMP joint forces spoiled the February 2013 bash by busting 31 people — including several former Hells Angels London chapter members — and seizing $4.6 million.
“These parties were by invitation only and were designed as a customer appreciation event,” said Bloch.
After the busts, the websites were shut down. But the next day, police learned through interceptions that Baird set up a new website called called www.platinumsb.tk.