Anaheim, California Gambling ‘Slaphouse’ Raid Leads to Dozens of Charges

Posted on: October 17, 2020, 08:34h. 

Last updated on: October 17, 2020, 10:03h.

About 70 people at a suspected gambling operation were detained this week in Anaheim after police raided a storefront and seized over two dozen video gaming machines and electronic gambling tables.

Anaheim Gambling Raid Detains 70 People
Anaheim, California police detained 70 people late last week after a court-ordered raid of an alleged illegal gambling “slaphouse”. (Image: OCHawk)

California police are continuing to crack down on these types of alleged illegal gambling operations– known as “slaphouses”– which are often hidden in abandoned businesses.

Out of the 70 detained, 25 were given citations for such offenses as drug possession. Thirteen were booked at the Anaheim Detention Facility for more serious offenses, including warrants, parole/probation violations, and gambling violations, Anaheim Police Sgt. Shane Carringer told

Any suspects who remained in custody should have appeared in court already by [Thursday],” Carringer additionally told He noted that three handguns were found at the suspected gambling site, as well as a “variety of drugs and drug paraphernalia.”

The raid took place on Tuesday. Police, firefighters, and a SWAT team each took part.

Officers used flashbangs to initially startle the crowd. Between 25 and 30 police officers took part in the court-ordered search. The business was described by KCAL, a local TV station, as a “shuttered storefront for an out-of-business hydroponics shop.”

Carringer also told the Orange County Register that such suspected gambling sites “are dens of criminal activity.” The gambling den was believed to be in operation for several months, the report adds.

Slaphouse Explained

“Slaphouse” is the term used to describe an illegal gambling operation found in a residence or business, KABC, another local TV station, explained in a report. The name relates to players “slapping” the controls on some of the games.

In January, the Long Beach Post, another California newspaper, reported that several illegal gambling operations were appearing in the Long Beach region over the last year. They were found in a vacant dollar store in Zaferia and an old thrift shop in North Long Beach, the report added.

Between July 2019 and January, local police closed eight different alleged illegal gaming sites, the Post said. Visitors were apprehended.

Weapons Often Discovered During Raids

“If you look at the crime of gambling, it’s a low-level misdemeanor. But yet what we’re seeing around these locations are people carrying guns,” Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna recently told several residents, the Post reported. In one search, local police seized four gambling machines, four firearms, assorted ammunition, and about $2,000.

Four years ago, Westminster police raided another slaphouse. Police back then seized a six-seater arcade game from the site, the AP reported.

Elsewhere, last month police in North Carolina raided six alleged illegal gambling businesses and confiscated unlicensed gambling machines, weapons, cash, and drugs.

The owners of the six raided businesses claim they’re not operating gambling games, but skill games.

Earlier this month, one person died and three others were wounded after an assailant opened fire at a suspected illegal gambling den in Brooklyn, NY. It is located in the Brownsville neighborhood of the borough.