185-Table California Poker Room Shut Down After Authorities Raid Casino
Feds Not Commenting On Nature Of Investigation
Update: At around noon local time the Bicycle casino released the following statement: “We are working with authorities and currently do not have additional information. As soon as the federal agents have completed their work, we will be in full operation.”
The Bicycle Hotel and Casino in Bell Gardens, California, home to 185 poker tables, was shut down Tuesday morning by authorities. Gamblers were told to leave.
According to reports, the raid was conducted by ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations unit, the IRS Criminal Investigation unit, the California DoJ Bureau of Gambling Control and the U.S. attorney’s office.
The casino told Card Player that an update on the situation could come at around 3 p.m. local time. Authorities have refused to comment on the raid, according to reports.
Sources told Fox 11 News that it’s over suspected money laundering.
The 33-year-old casino is privately owned.
The U.S. government once owned about a third of the casino after it was determined that $12 million in laundered drug money was used to build it. The government made tens of millions of dollars in profit before selling its stake.
“As a partner in the club, the government also contributed to political campaigns to defeat the proposal to build a rival card club in Orange County,” said a 1996 L.A. Times article.
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