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Italian Royal Arrested for Promoting Casino Gambling with Hookers

The heir to the throne of Italy was arrested for pimping and rigging casino games, a tawdry affair that involves using prostitutes to draw gambling patrons to a small Italian casino.

Prince Vittorio Emmanuele, the son of the last ruling King of Italy, is being charged with using prostitutes to entice casino customers and rigging the casino slots. Emmanuele, who lives in an Italian territory inside Swiss borders, is involved in having brought a casino to the region.

Law enforcement officials say Emmanuele bribed local authorities to get licensing for 400 slot machines placed at the casino. The prince is also accused of hiring prostitutes from Eastern European countries to entertain and distract casino guests.

A judge said there is enough evidence to hold the prince over for trial on charges of corrupting public officials and conspiracy.

The details promise to be a lurid tale when the trail begins in December, as Emanuele apparently insisted on personally vetting the prostitutes. He is reported to have asked investigators to not tell his wife, saying that he was happily married.

"It's just that I am a hunter, and from time to time I like to shoot," said Emmanuele.

Among evidence produced by police are transcripts of secretly recorded conversations, including Emmanuele telling a friend that one of the hookers had earned "a good slapping" for failing to do her job properly.

Photos of the prince receiving what is alleged to be his regular $15,000 share of the casino payouts have already made Italian newspapers. The amount seems insignificant compared to the royal family's estimated assets worth over $100 million.

Published on September 24, 2009 by JulieWong

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