US authorities have charged 18 members of a violent gambling ring for their involvement in an illegal international online sports betting operation which used the internet and toll-free telephone lines to accept bets from customers in California.

In an indictment unsealed yesterday, operators of Macho Sports were charged under RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) statues with running an illegal internet and telephone sports betting operation which was located principally in California and Peru.

Participants in the scheme were charged with taking millions of dollars in illegal sports wagers over the last decade in the San Diego and Los Angeles areas.

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