Royal Canadian Mounted Police investigators discovered during the Colisée investigation that one of the young mafia leaders, Francesco Del Balso, had gambled more than $8 million at the Casino de Montréal.
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Not bad for an individual who, at the time, claimed to work for a grocery store. According to documents obtained by our Bureau of Investigation, he also received more than $2.5 million in cheques for winnings at the casino.
In 2001 and 2002, he gambled $2.8 million a year, according to Casino records.
Surprisingly enough, he was involved in illegal gambling. According to a 2007 La Presse article, online betting shows run by Del Balso had collected $391 million in bets and made a gross profit of $17.6 million in one year. The article also indicates that Del Balso and his wife were living a high lifestyle before the man was arrested in Operation Colisée.
According to a wiretap summary contained in the affidavit, he says he was audited because of his gambling at the casino. The summary also indicates that it seems to say that the casino got into hot water because of him.
However, the facts contained in the affidavit were not tested in court.
In 2004, while he was being bugged, he was allegedly having a discussion with the late mobster Lorenzo Giordano about tax auditors who were interested in his finances. He would have wanted to justify his lifestyle solely with his gambling at the casino, which Giordano would have advised him not to do.
The Casino de Montréal wrote a cheque for 75 000 (in mortise) to the mobster Francesco Del Balso in 2004.
In 2006, Francesco Del Balso was arrested along with several senior mafia leaders. He had been sentenced to 15 years for cocaine trafficking and gangsterism.
He was released in 2016 after serving two-thirds of his sentence.
According to information obtained by our Office of Investigation, he would have resumed frequenting the Casino before its closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.