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Police Raid Illegal California Gambling Den; 11 Arrested

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On Tuesday, Dec. 3 at 4:30 a.m. PST, the Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) in California enforced a search warrant at a business that was located in the 6400 block of Long Beach Boulevard. Storming the business, Nisey’s Thrift Store, the LBPD sought assistance from the SWAT team in uncovering an illegal gambling den at the rear of the establishment. A total of 64 people were detained by the police with 11 being arrested.

Nisey's Thrift StorePolice Targeted Nisey's Thrift Store in an Early A.M. Search

The Invasion of a Not-So-Thrifty Store

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The raid, which took place in the early hours of the morning, saw the detectives and SWAT officers enter into the business and seize everyone and everything inside relating to gambling. Law enforcement officials report finding 11 gambling machines within as well as an unspecified amount of cash.

Illegal Gambling MachinesSome of the Gambling Machines Seized

Alongside this, 64 people were initially detained although just 11 of them were officially taken into custody. What’s more, not all of them were arrested specifically for participating in gambling. According to reports, many were actually discovered to already have outstanding warrants.

As it happens, there was just a single person who was arrested on suspicion of participating in illegal gambling – Jimmy Trinh, 45, who faces charges of accepting wagers. Another man who was arrested, an Edmond Sims, was actually injured while trying to escape from the establishment. His escape attempt was prevented by a K-9 dog, and the 36-year-old Sims had to be transported to a nearby hospital for the injuries he sustained.

Sims would end up being booked for causing willful harm to a K-9 and for resisting arrest. Trinh is being held on a $10,000 bail while Sims is being held on $20,000 bail. As far as the remaining nine arrestees go, they were all taken into custody for their outstanding warrants.

A Raid That Was Coming Sooner Rather Than Later

Generally speaking, underground gambling establishments tend to try and keep their activities secret from the general public. After all, unless you hold a specific license that allows you to provide gambling services in California, then every house-banked game outside of that is considered against the law. Yet, it seems as though the Nisey’s Thrift Store owners neglected to even attempt to maintain a low profile.

Authorities were given a tip off about the place from nearby residents who had noticed and complained about excessive activity occurring within the building at odd hours of the day. Speaking of the decision to conduct a raid on the place after receiving such complaints, Long Beach Council member Rex Richardson said:

I am grateful that our detectives took decisive action in cracking down on these activities and protecting the quality of life of the families who live in this great uptown neighborhood.

Rex RichardsonLocal Politico Rex Richardson Supports These Police Actions

Yet, despite the positive spin given by Richardson on his description of this neighborhood in Long Beach, one has only to visit it to see that just about all of the homes and businesses within have iron bars over their doors and windows. Furthermore, the store where the raid took place is just a short walk away from the city of Compton, which is known within California and beyond for being heavy with crime.

Another Raid to Add to the List in California

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The state of California has suffered through multiple gambling raids in recent months as it becomes apparent that more and more people will do whatever it takes to indulge in satisfying their gaming needs. Perhaps they are unaware of the ability to play at online poker sites and internet casinos, which would enable them to avoid any risk of law enforcement ruining the party.

It was in March of this year that a raid took place in Westminster, which targeted two separate households. Reports suggested that the two houses were bustling with activity throughout the day and night. Once a raid was conducted on the properties, the police finished up arresting 26 people whilst also seizing drugs and weapons alongside various gambling devices.

April saw another two raids take place, this time in the neighboring city of Santa Ana. This would see the Lucky 999 Cyber Café invaded first and over 20 people taken into custody as a result.

Multiple gambling machines were also reportedly seized, believed to be video poker and slot machines. Even though the authorities were tipped off by residents of the area, many believed that the business shot itself in the foot by being called Lucky 999.

That raid was followed by another, which took place one week later, at another cyber café. Again, this was said to have been reported by concerned residents, but the establishment apparently didn’t make any effort to cover up what was taking place there. According to reports, the business was open 24/7, which is not usually the norm. Not only that, but it seemed to have a constant stream of visitors entering the premises very late at night. This raid would see five gambling terminals seized from the building.

Calls for a Turnaround in the California Law

Change Arrows

These raids of recent times in California have seen some people call for a change in the state’s laws on gambling. These laws are very clear and actually permit the Golden State to play host to various land-based racetracks, casinos, and cardrooms, which provide citizens with a variety of entertainment opportunities. Unfortunately, California’s gambling is quite segregated – so, in the Los Angeles area, which is where a majority of the raids are occurring, the only type of gambling that is readily available comes in the form of the local cardrooms.

Cardrooms tend to be dominated by poker although they do occasionally feature other card games, such as blackjack and baccarat. However, they do not include casino games that utilize other apparatus, like slots or roulette for example. The only way to access these types of games in California is to visit a Native American reserve as these locations have a monopoly on such gaming options.

Commerce CasinoCommerce Casino Serves Residents of Los Angeles Looking to Play Card Games
But It Does Not Have Slots, Video Poker, or Roulette

It is for this reason that many people have taken to starting up their own illegal gambling dens as a way to provide people with access to those games without them needing to travel to distant locations. It is also these dens that have been targeted by the authorities.

Unfortunately, any attempts at reform within California have gained very little traction. Naturally, the Native American tribes that have the authority to provide full-scale gambling options within the state don’t want to share that revenue with other competitors. So whenever there’s a movement by the government to try and relax the gambling laws, the tribes tend to lobby against it. This is why there hasn’t been any significant change in the legislation on gambling within California despite there being multiple occasions of requested alterations to the law.

Long Beach Gambling Raid

Visiting Underground Gambling Establishments Unnecessary

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It’s not necessary to have to visit an underground gambling den in California to get your gaming fix though. In fact, you don’t have to go to a land-based facility at all because there are various offshore online platforms that provide gambling opportunities to residents of California.

This is especially true when it comes to poker rooms as there are several which allow players from the state to register for an account and play poker games at them. You could check out our own guide to playing internet poker legally in California to find a site catering to you.

Residents of other parts of the country may be interested in our USA poker guide, which explains the various online cardrooms that serve Americans as well as additional information pertaining to laws, history, et cetera. If slots or casino table games are more your thing, then be sure to check out our list of highly rated, USA-friendly online casinos.