Illegal gambling operations carry a heavy punishment, but that doesn't stop business owners from trying to offer their patrons illegal online and physical machines. This was precisely the case for a Utah man who is said to have been making $8 million in cash per year from his illegal operations.
Police reported that the owner of businesses had multiple locations across Utah, was making $23,000 per day, just from his gambling machines, as he had legal products for sale as well.
As if it was taken from a movie, undercover detectives played the man's slots for months. One of the detectives claimed, “Once you enter that room, the atmosphere is dark and it feels like a casino."
The man owned eight separate storefronts across the county and illegal machines lined the locations. Winning players would walk up to the register and collect their cash payout.
“We were receiving information that there were payouts of upwards to $200, $300 at a time,” said another detective. “It became very entertaining for somebody to go to these locations and take a risk to see if they can become a winner," he continued.
As is with gambling, not all customers would win. In fact, one of the patrons told a detective that she was going to play at the man's locations in hopes of winning money for Christmas gifts. She was actually betting with her children's Christmas money and instead, lost it all.
Illicit Gambling is Bad Business
A major issue with illegal gambling is money laundering and organized crime. The money that is made is not reported, it does not get taxed and therefore is not put back into the community.
When police raided the locations and the man's private residence in downtown Salt Lake City, the man fled. After searching his residence and businesses, at least four guns, a taser, drugs, and 50 gambling machines were confiscated.
The man's attorney is working with the detectives on the case who are asking that he turn himself in to police immediately.