From Westminster to Fort Pierce: American crackdown on illegal gambling

Posted: May 10, 2023 17:30 Posted by Matthew Calleja
Category: Americas, Land-Based, Regulatory,
Posted: May 10, 2023 17:30 Category: Americas, Land-Based, Regulatory, Posted by Matthew Calleja

North American regulatory bodies and law enforcers are cracking down on illegal gambling dens and related criminal activities. They are making strides in dismantling illicit operations and ensuring that the public is protected from the harm caused by these activities. 

Westminster police (CA) bust illegal gambling operation

The dangers of illegal gambling have been brought to light once again after a recent raid by the Westminster Police Department. In the early hours of Wednesday, Westminster police detectives executed a search warrant at a residential property in Westminster, resulting in the discovery of a vast illegal gambling network.

The property, commonly referred to as a “slaphouse,” situated in the 15800 block of Quartz Street, was searched at approximately 6:30 a.m., leading to four arrests and twelve people being detained.

“We found two gambling rooms containing multiple electronic table games,” reported Sergeant Eddie Esqueda of the Westminster Police Department. “We found drugs, drug paraphernalia and some bladed hand weapons.”

During the search, the detectives found two rooms that were converted into gaming areas, housing approximately eight video games and electronic tabletop games, $3,000 in cash, a quantity of methamphetamine and fentanyl, as well as several knives and swords.

Authorities revealed that the illegal activity was promoted publicly through various neighbourhoods by flyers.

Florida Gaming Control Commission confiscates over $1 million in cash and assets

Authorities are taking action against unlawful gambling throughout the state of Florida. On Tuesday, the Florida Gaming Control Commission confirmed the confiscation of over $1 million in cash and properties from four unlawful gambling operations in Fort Pierce, Delray Beach, St. Petersburg, and Tampa.

The Florida Gaming Control Commission received a complaint from the public about an unlawful gaming operation in Fort Pierce in January. Past investigations indicated that the operator in Fort Pierce also ran illegal gambling facilities in the Bay Area.

Officials confiscated as many as 44 illegal slot machines from the Lucky Game Lounge on Gunn Highway near Plantation Boulevard in Tampa, one by one. Meanwhile, in St. Petersburg, authorities raided another establishment located in a business suite in the Twin Brooks Commons strip mall near I-275 and 22nd Avenue South. They removed 103 slot machines.

“The way gambling is set up in the state is that it’s essentially prohibited unless it’s one of the few exceptions,” Louis Trombetta, the Executive Director of the Florida Gaming Control Commission, made a statement. “These types of establishments don’t fit any of those exceptions. They’re just illegal.”

In recent years, the gaming industry has grown exponentially in the United States, creating thousands of jobs and generating billions of dollars in revenue. However, as the industry has grown, so too has the problem of illegal gambling operations. These nefarious activities not only put players at risk but also damage the industry’s reputation and hinder its growth. In Florida, the Florida Gaming Control Commission has taken bold steps to address this issue, and its recent success in cracking down on illegal gambling operations is a clear sign that regulation is working.

The Florida Gaming Control Commission has been relentless in its efforts to root out illegal gambling activities, and their recent operations have resulted in the confiscation of millions of dollars in cash and assets.

Exceptions to the prohibition of slot machines are made for properties run by the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida and the Seminole Tribe of Florida, such as the Seminole Hard Rock, as well as for Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Eight non-tribal establishments hold licences to provide slot machines in those two counties.

People are doing this because there is money to be made. We’re trying to stop that from happening – Louis Trombetta

An owner of a shop located in the same strip mall told FOX 13 that Lucky Game Lounge operators distributed flyers in the neighbourhood, enticing individuals with the promise of significant wins. Once the facility became busy with players, a representative from the Florida Gaming Control Commission stated that operators would manipulate the machines and reduce payouts. In one instance, a player won $10,000, but the operator refused to pay out the winnings.

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