Italian Police Arrest 12, Seize $31.5m in Connection With Alleged Lottery Scratchcard Fraud

  • Italy’s GdF Special Currency Police Unit made arrests in Rome, Mantua on October 29
  • The alleged fraud involved four instant lottery jackpots worth $28m
  • Four suspects were current employees of Rome-based IGT subsidiary Lottomatica S.p.A
  • The remaining eight are relatives who bought the winning tickets from specific retail locations
  • IGT and Lottomatica have announced the suspension of the four suspected workers 
Italian Guardia di Finanza police cars
Italian police arrested 12 people for their alleged role in a family-run fraud case involving four instant lottery jackpots worth $28m. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

A case of four jackpots

Italy’s Guardia di Finanza (GdF) Special Currency Police Unit have arrested 12 people in connection with alleged fraud involving four instant lottery jackpots worth €24m ($28m). Four of the people apprehended were current staff of Rome-based gaming giant Lottomatica S.p.A. The remaining eight are relatives of the said workers.

alleged fraud involving four instant lottery jackpots worth €24m ($28m)

Police arrested ten residents in Rome and two in Mantua, and carried out “preventive seizures” of financial assets and fixed and non-fixed property worth €27m ($31.5m). Grand prizes on two of the Super Cash scratchcards were for €7m ($8,1m) each, and another two Maxi Billionaire winning tickets were worth €5m ($5.8m) each.

Lottomatica, the Italian subsidiary of London-based IGT, operates within the Italian gaming, lottery, iLottery, and iGaming market. IGT is a global leader in the end-to-end gaming sector, providing multi-channel gaming experiences across all regulated segments including lotteries, slot machines, sports betting, and digital.

A family affair

According to the GdF, investigations coordinated by the Capitoline Public Prosecutor identified that between 2015 and 2019, the four Lottomatica workers, aided by former employees, allegedly managed to “intercept” and redeem the four instant-win scratchcards.  

Lottomatica employees allegedly sent their relatives to retail locations to purchase the jackpot-winning tickets

IGT prohibits employees from participating in its own games and lotteries. To bypass this, the four Lottomatica employees allegedly sent their relatives to retail locations to purchase the jackpot-winning tickets. The outlets were in Milan, Brescia, Foggia, and Cremona.

IGT and Lottomatica issued a release on October 29, saying they had suspended the four suspects following the opening of an inquiry by the Italian Judicial Authority. The two companies are fully cooperating with the ongoing investigation.

According to the release, the suspects allegedly attempted to gain unlawful access to Lottomatica’s business systems with the intention to locate and redeem four winning lottery scratchcards.

System check

IGT stated that it had taken immediate measures to review its “internal systems and processes designed to prevent criminal and fraudulent activities” following the discovery of the incident. Besides meeting obligations towards its customers and regulatory bodies, the company remained focused on making sure its business is “conducted at the highest levels of integrity”.

Alleged lottery fraud aside, IGT has been making impressive headlines over the last few months. In October, it became the first B2B betting platform in the US to offer regional operators access to official NBA assets. Earlier in August, it signed a two-year extension with the New York Lottery, which additionally contracted IGT to supply 400 new GameTouch self-serve gaming machines.