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Illegal gaming house found and dismantled in Richmond

By Richmond Sentinel

Published 2:36 PST, Tue January 17, 2023

Last month, following a comprehensive investigation headed by the Richmond RCMP organized crime unit, a search warrant was executed on a suspected gaming house.

The house is located in the 6000 block of Skaha Crescent (near Westminster Highway between No. 2 and Gilbert roads). The search warrant was executed on Dec. 1. Several law enforcement partner agencies helped with the investigation.

Sixteen people were arrested, most of whom were actively participating in gaming. Two people, a 45-year-old Richmond woman and a 49-year-old Surrey man, were determined to be caretakers of the gaming house. Two people, a 34-year-old Richmond man and a 38-year-old Vancouver woman, were determined to be professional card dealers.

During the course of the search, some of the notable items found were:

  • Over $14,000 in Canadian currency
  • Gambling ledgers
  • An automated Mahjong table
  • Poker table, chips, and cards

Investigators also learned that one of the caretakers of the house and one of the card dealers were not Canadian citizens, and they are subject to deportation.

“Illegal gaming houses are one piece of the larger organized crime puzzle. This was a highly successful operation by our detachment and our partner agencies. Not only were we able to safely dismantle this gaming house but we were able to gather valuable intelligence,” says Staff Sergeant Patrick Damgajian, unit commander, Richmond RCMP organized crime unit. “We will continue systematically identifying and investigate all such establishments and mitigate the further spread of them in our community.”

Sergeant Brenda Winpenny, media relations officer for the combined forces special enforcement unit B.C. (CFSEU-BC), says: “CFSEU-BC’s joint illegal gaming investigation team is able to provide expertise and operational support to partner agencies investigating suspected illegal gambling houses and we often work closely with the Richmond RCMP. Illegal gaming often has a nexus to other serious criminal offences and CFSEU-BC and our partners are collectively looking at every opportunity to work together and mitigate the negative impacts of organized crime in our communities.”

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