Orange County, Calif. Cops Continue Crackdown on Illegal Gambling Dens


Twenty-four suspects now face a gambling charge after Friday’s raid of an Orange County, Calif. street-front business operating as an illicit gaming joint, police said. A dozen gaming machines were seized by cops from the Garden Grove operation.

It marks the latest in a series of raids in the region to clamp down on illicit gaming dens
It marks the latest in a series of raids in the region to clamp down on illicit gaming dens
A Garden Grove, Calif. police SUV pictured above. Garden Grove cops raided still another illegal gambling operation. It led to many arrests and the seizure of gambling equipment. (Image: Fickr)

It marks the latest in a series of raids in the region to clamp down on illicit gaming dens. The raid comes less than a month after a similar police action in the same community, according to the Orange County Register.

That raid led to charges against 19 suspects. Also, a dozen gaming machines and a firearm were seized during the June search.

In still another raid last month, a Westminster, Calif. illegal gambling operation was shut down by police. Five suspects were charged on gambling- and drug-related counts. During the raid of the residence, cops seized cash, gambling machines, and illegal narcotics.

June’s Westminster raid was the fourth gambling raid undertaken by local police so far this year, Westminster Police Commander Cord Vandergrift told Patch, a local publication.

In total, 37 suspects were charged, more than $30,000 in cash was seized, and cops confiscated weapons, drugs, and gambling machines during the series of 2021 Westminster raids.

In addition, in February some 70 people were arrested in yet another police raid on an alleged illegal gambling joint in Anaheim, Calif., according to local news reports. Several gaming machines and firearms were seized, police said. The business allegedly fronted as a furniture store.

During an October raid, Anaheim police apprehended about 70 people at an alleged gaming den located next-door to the one raided in February.

Thirteen suspects were booked at the Anaheim Detention Facility for more serious offenses, including warrants, parole/probation violations, and gambling violations.

That storefront was vacant, but formerly was a hydroponics business, police added. Police seized over two dozen video gaming machines and electronic gambling tables in October. Currency was also seized from that alleged gambling joint.

Residents Complain About Crime

In October, police told the Register they had gotten over 50 complaints about the business. It was described by authorities as a “24-hour a day operation every day.”

Often, the raids stem from complaints from residents who live near the operation. They typically see people going into the joint and related crime.

Last month, police said many of these illegal gambling locations are sites of illegal drug use, such as involving methamphetamine (meth).

Street gangs are involved in many of the operations, too, cops add. More serious charges could lead to court convictions and prison sentences.

Slaphouses Explained

Many recent raids in Orange County focus on slaphouses, local news reports reveal.

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

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