Flagstaff Police Department have busted a local business who were running illegal online casinos in the US, as well as a local land based offering targeting problem gamblers. The police seized 200 computers and $14,000 in cash from the business’ premises, as well as searching properties in Parks and Phoenix.
With American gambling laws outlawing online casinos except in individual states, many gamblers have to travel to one of the countries land based casinos in order to play their favorite casino games. As such, there has been a proliferation of illegal gambling sites, with both state and federal police looking to shut down operators targeting US players.
Back with the Flagstaff bust, and Sergeant Cory Runge of the Flagstaff Police Department believes the operators set extremely low win ratios on the games they offered. “Typically, with these types of operations, they target the elderly, minorities, low-income communities and women,” Runge said. “They have them come in and gamble. Then, because the win ratios are so low, they almost never win. It’s basically a big scam. They target the poor.”
With mobile casinos soon to go live in New Jersey – with Delaware and Nevada not far behind – gamblers in those states will have far more choice in how to gamble. However, cross-state gambling is still a sticky issue, despite US regulations seemingly making it legal. Since many online casinos have been burnt by US clampdowns in the past, they seem unwilling to return, instead focusing on emerging markets.
No criminal charges have yet been made in the Flagstaff case, but with more than $100,000 worth of equipment having been seized, as well as the $14,000 in cash, the operation – led by the Northern Arizona Street Crimes Task Force and the FBI – will surely push the case on in the near future.