Online gambling is limited to only certain areas of the United States. Anyone operating an online casino illegally will face prosecution by the government with the most recent case of illegal online gambling coming out of San Diego, California.
To be able to offer online gambling services legally within the United States, the individual state must first provide passage of legislation and put regulations in place. Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware are the only three states who currently provide such rules and regulations for legal online gambling. Other states such as California are considering legislation for the activity, but nothing has passed as of yet. Despite this fact, several individuals in the state felt it okay to offer online gambling activities in the state and beyond, now facing the consequences for their actions.
Luck Runs Out for Lucky Lady Casino
A small casino located in San Diego was raided on Wednesday morning of this past week after a two year investigation into the venue came to an end. Charges were placed on more than 12 men who were found to be operating and involved in an illegal online gambling ring. Over 100 FBI agents as well as detectives from the police department of San Diego were on hand to make the arrests, with 9 of the 14 defendants arrested based on efforts from several states including California, Kentucky and Nevada.
By Wednesday afternoon, three federal grand jury indictments were unsealed to reveal that the Lucky Lady Casino and Card Room has been alleged to have performing illegal bookmaking operations, earning as much as $1 million in the process. The El Cerrito venue was connected to betters and bookmakers involved in online gaming websites that were based outside of the United States, which were operated by those who were involved in the gambling ring.
The leader of the online gambling ring is alleged to be Sanders Segal who worked with his son, Sydney Bruce Segal and the owner of Lucky Lady, Stanley Samuel Penn to offer the online gambling options. Business men located internationally as well as bookmakers have been accused of helping Segal financially with the gambling ring with five men still missing, thought to be in Thailand and Canada.
The End of a Two Year Investigation
The FBI and police of San Diego have been working together since 2014 in the joint investigation. Wiretaps were placed as well as undercover agents taking part in the illegal online gambling to try and gain enough information for prosecution. By Wednesday, investigators were on site ready to serve a search warrant to the casino. The card room was raided, with documents examined and every inch of the facility inspected.
The raid also included The River sports bar which is located next door to the Lucky Lady Casino. Homes of those considered to be involved in the operation were also raided by police at the same time. David Nguyen was a poker dealer for the casino for more than a year who was spoken to by reporters. Nguyen stated he liked his job and everyone was friendly with good employees and customers. He stated that nothing seemed out of the ordinary at all.
Not the First Raid in the Area
This is not the first card room in the area to be raided by police. In 2015, the Palomar Card Club was raided by state agents and the FBI, a venue located just four miles from the Lucky Lady Casino. An investigation took place on this property that also resulted in findings of illegal gambling rings. Information has not been released as to if the two casino raids are connected somehow, but it is odd to consider that both are located so close to each and other seem to be offering the same type of illegal gambling activities during the same time frame.