Police in California Raid More Illegal Gambling Facilities
California police are still working to shut down illegal gambling operations known as slaphouses, with around 70 arrests taking place last week.
Illegal gambling is an apparent problem in California. The state has been dealing with operations known as slaphouses, with police raiding an area this past week and arresting around 70 people. Gaming machines were gathered in the raid along with firearms. The latest facility to be affected was a property acting as a furniture store.
Busting the Operation
Police entered the scene of the ‘furniture store’ and those inside were ready to run. Suspects broke windows of the property in an attempt to flee the scene. The individuals scattered as they tried to get away. The property had been under surveillance for about two months before the raid took place.
The property was under review by police after more than 50 complaints were received about the business. It would found that the store was running 24/7, offering gambling services to patrons every single day.
The term slaphouse is used to describe the gambling facilities in California, based on the operations taking place in a business or residence. The name was created due to players slapping the controls of the gambling games they are playing.
Slaphouses can be operated anywhere and are often found in storefronts, so that the facility seems like a legit business. They can also be set up in abandoned properties such as homes or warehouses. According to police, such facilities will often be connected to criminal activity.
Back in October, police in California raided a slaphouse which also resulted in dozens of arrests. This raid took place at the property next door to the one that was raided this week. It’s crazy to think that once the raid took place last year, someone set up shop right next to the spot that was raided. Perhaps they thought that police would not come back to the same location or they were just testing their luck.
Of those arrested last year, thirteen were booked within the Detention Facility in Anaheim for serious crimes such as gambling violations, probation and parole violations as well as outstanding warrants. These cases were then forwarded to the courts.
For this location, the storefront was vacant. However, in the past, it was used a hydroponics business. In the raid, more than 24 machines were taking into custody. The games included electronic table games and video gaming machines. Money was also taken by police. Police also obtained handguns from the premises as well as drugs and paraphernalia.
To start this raid, police used flashbangs to startle anyone inside. This gave police enough time to start arresting individuals inside without the threat of them running away. The individuals inside know the gambling operations are illegal and want to get away without facing any charges.
The illegal gambling threat goes back even further than last October. In early 2020, it was reported that several illegal gambling facilities were in operation in Long Beach. Such facilities were operating out of an inoperable dollar store as well as a thrift shop.
Going back into mid-2019, to the first of 2020, police closed down eight different spots suspected of operating illegal gambling sites. During these closures, the visitors inside were taken into custody by police.
A coinciding issue with the illegal gambling operations starting last year was the COVID-19 pandemic. As the virus took hold, the operators of such facilities continued to allow players to meet up and no mask wearing, or social distancing measures were in place.
Such operations were illegal but also a spot where the virus could easily spread. This is another reason why police have been acting quickly to shut down such facilities after investigating the areas for a short time.