California, Texas Police Confiscate 172 Gaming Machines in Separate Searches

Posted on: January 23, 2020, 05:00h. 

Last updated on: January 24, 2020, 10:08h.

California authorities recently seized 125 alleged illegal gambling machines from an unlicensed gaming business operating near Modesto. Separately, Dallas authorities confiscated 47 alleged illegal machines in that Texas city, according to news reports. Among them were many that offered fish games.

Fish game machines like the ones in this 2018 Charlotte Observer video are becoming increasingly popular and were found in recent police searches. (Image: Modesto Bee)

In their search, California authorities also seized three guns from the Modesto region site. These include: a pistol, shotgun and an AR-15 rifle.

Authorities searched the alleged illegal gaming operation after following someone there who was on probation. Police had the gaming operation under watch even before the search took place.

When law enforcement officers entered the 2,000 square foot building, they saw 29 people. The suspects were detained and placed in handcuffs. Three were arrested. Police and other officials are continuing to investigate the operation.

The seized machines had fish game themes. Fish hunting is increasingly popular in such arcades, according to news reports. The machines are easy to operate via buttons and joysticks, the Modesto Bee reported.

Players pay for credits, then shoot at marine life characters. Players are paid cash equivalents in credits based on the number of sea creatures they strike.

The California building formerly was rented to religious congregations. Four months ago, the landlord rented it to what he was told was a vending machine repair shop, the Bee reported.

The landlord became concerned after seeing many cars around the property during the night and day. Also, security and nighttime cameras were installed outside of the building.

On Saturday, the day before the search, the landlord gave the tenant a 30-day notice to move from the property, the Bee said.

In the unrelated Dallas raid, an alleged illegal gambling business was searched by local police. Beyond the 47 machines, a handgun and $6,650 were seized by police.

The Dallas Police Department’s Vice Unit and SWAT team raided the location after obtaining a search warrant. Complaints were made to police before the raid about suspected gambling taking place at the property.

Long Beach Police Broke Up Gaming Den

Other such raids took place over the past several months in regions like California. Last month, Long Beach, California police raided an alleged illegal gambling den that was operating under the guise of being a thrift store, according to news reports.

The raid led to police detaining 64 people. Eleven got arrested.

Police also seized several electronic gaming machines from the business. Police were alerted about the alleged underground gambling shop by residents. They complained about excessive activity at the building at unusual hours.

In July, vice detectives — also in Long Beach — discovered an alleged illegal gambling operation being run out of a residence. Police seized gaming machines, weapons, ammunition and $2,000.

They arrested three people in the house. At least two of the machines appeared to be fish table games.

In California, the illegal gambling stakes law applies to the illicit operation of varied activities. These include traditional table games like blackjack, poker, and roulette, to being in possession of gaming devices, such as fish machines. First-time offenders in the Golden State can face up to $1,000 in fines, six months in jail, or both, under state law.

LAPD Searched Alleged Illegal Gambling Site

In May, the Los Angeles Police Department’s SWAT team raided a business where illegal gambling, prostitution, and drug trafficking was alleged. Law enforcement authorities said at least 35 people were arrested in the sting.