Malta has been working hard on diversifying its gaming offerings, providing players from near and far with the chance to enjoy a wide range of gambling possibilities. Even though there is an operational lottery across the country, there is still illegal lottery activities in progress as it was recently discovered. Chris Farrugia is a man who was arrested for a criminal offense in relation to an illegal lottery organization.
Maltco Lotteries is the company which oversees the operation of the Maltese National Lottery and Additional Games. The lottery has a vast number of retail points sprinkled across the island country which gives every player the chance to participate in some of the riveting gaming offerings there are up for grabs provided by the lottery operator. Regardless of the existence of such an operator, apparently there are parallel attempts at operating a lottery in an illegal manner which are being kept in check by the local authorities.
As it turns out, there has been a 37-year-old man from Zabbar willing to take the risk and run an illegal lottery and he was caught in the act of selling tickets to people on the street. Mr. Farrugia is currently being held in custody under the accusation of running a lottery gaming offering without the necessary licensing provided by the authority overseeing operation in the field. The people responsible for the charging of Mr. Farrugia are Inspectors Roderick Attard and Chantelle Casha who are working on the case and are prosecutors.
The arrest itself took place at the right time, as the man was caught red-handed selling lottery tickets to people passing by in Fgura. The town located in the South Eastern region of Malta is one of the most populated towns in the Maltese Islands and there are some 12,258 residents living there. It is known for its rich culture and people are willing to visit the location, increasing the chance of illegal lottery prosperity in the long run.
Illegal Lottery Operation Leads to Arrest
Mr. Farrugia has been selling his lottery tickets to local residents by going door to door and asking whether they were interested in purchasing such tickets. The unauthorized lottery operation he had been conducting up until the time of arrest is a serious crime on its own, but it is not the only one he was charged with. In addition to the illegal lottery, he was also accused of being in possession of stolen property which was taken from a house located in Zejtun.
It all adds up to a complicated situation which was further tangled by the fact that he has done this while he was in an operative period issued by the authorities. Mr. Farrugia has a sentence suspended and was relapsing from it while the arrest took place and his actions against the law are further aggravating his situation. However, he made his appearance in court without the help of a lawyer. This was his personal choice under the circumstances and he made an attempt at pleading guilty as charged.
In response to this, Magistrate Neville Camilleri made it clear that he would not accept his offer of admission until there is a lawyer there protecting the rights of the charged man since this is in his best interest. Instead, for the time being, he will remain with a not guilty plea, while he is placed in custody. Development in relation to the case is expected to take place in the upcoming weeks.
The lottery operator on a national level Maltco Lotteries is the only operator which has the legal right to provide the general public with said offerings and lottery tickets available at its numerous points of retail. Everything out of that retail operation is considered illegal and therefore subjected to penalties. The operator has been overseeing the management of Malta’s state-owned lottery and gaming business ever since 2004.
The overall goal for this year is to improve the appearance and feel of the company’s retail points. As it has been announced, the said project is going to amount to some €400,000 and the ultimate goal of the scheme is to improve the image of the said points of sale. Their management is overseen by agents who have acquired an Agency Agreement in order to do so.