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San Antonio Underground Casino Busted For Second Time Since 2021

Illegal Gambling Houses Appear To Be Growing Across Country

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Running an underground gambling operation apparently proved too enticing for some business owners in San Antonio, Texas. After seeing the property already raided by law enforcement in 2021, the gambling house was busted again by Bexar County sheriff’s deputies on Oct. 19.

The most recent raid came after an undercover sting operation, with agents seizing more than $20,000. Four men were arrested and now face felony charges of keeping an illegal gambling place and engaging in organized criminal activity.

“You may recall that in 2021 we actually raided this same location for similar circumstances – very similar circumstances,” Sheriff Javier Salazar said. “At that time, we believe that it was under different management. But, obviously, it wouldn’t be outside the realm of possibilities that they just changed some names on paper somewhere, and it’s part of the same criminal enterprise.”

A Growing Trend

Raiding illegal gambling operations is becoming more of a focus for law enforcement across the country. Agents in Florida, California, Ohio, Michigan, and other states have conducted gambling raids in recent months to crack down on unlicensed casino parlors.

Law enforcement note that these types of operations are often run by organized criminal groups and other underworld figures. California law enforcement recently pointed to Los Angeles-area gambling dens as being owned by members of the Mexican mafia.

“It’s hidden in plain sight,” Los Angeles County sheriff’s detective Richard Velasquez recently told the Los Angeles Times of that city’s gambling house operated by organized crime. “You don’t know that it’s there until you know that it’s there.”

In San Antonio, investigators are trying to determine whether a larger criminal enterprise was involved. Salazar noted that one of the casino’s security team was also on the job at the location during the initial raid in 2021. That could lead to some big charges.

“It does not appear that they [the security company] are innocent parties,” Salazar said. “In fact, I would say the security guard that was found here is one of the four that is going to be charged with engaging in organized criminal activity.”