BC RCMP arrested 16 people involved in an illegal gambling operation in a Richmond home.
The bust, which closed the illegal casino, followed a 2022 investigation into the operation that led to a search warrant.
According to investigators, illegal gambling is “one piece of the larger organized crime puzzle” in the province.
RCMP work with specialized anti-gang unit, border services and canines on bust
Richmond RCMP’s organized crime unit led the raid, with assistance from BC’s specialized anti-gang unit. Canadian Border Services and a squad of police dogs also participated in the takedown operation.
In total, police arrested 16, most for participating in gambling at the underground casino.
Of the sixteen, a 45-year-old Richmond woman and a 49-year-old male from Surrey are the alleged caretakers of the home.
Two others, a 38-year-old Vancouver woman and a 34-year-old Richmond man, were allegedly professional card dealers working in the house.
According to Richmond RCMP, one of the caretakers and one card dealer are not Canadian citizens. As a result of their arrests, the pair are now facing deportation. Police revealed the news in a release highlighting the bust last week.
Illegal gambling often tied to gangs and organized crime
The search of the home by police turned up chips, cards and a poker table.
Also found were the gambling operations ledgers, an automated mah-jong table and $14,000 in Canadian currency.
“Illegal gaming houses are one piece of the larger organized crime puzzle,” said Richmond RCMP’s organized crime unit commander, Staff Sgt. Patrick Damgajian.
“Not only were we able to safely dismantle this gaming house, but we were able to gather valuable intelligence.”
Sgt. Brenda Winpenny of BC’s Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit said gambling houses are often part of organized crime and gang activity.
“Illegal gaming often has a nexus to other serious criminal offences and CFSEU-B.C. and our partners are collectively looking at every opportunity to work together and mitigate the negative impacts of organized crime in our communities.”