Fort Pierce Billiards Room Raided For Illegal Poker Gambling

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The world of illegal gambling can be carried out in many different places. Pool halls are a common place where gambling takes place, but usually it involves playing the game of pool.

That was not the case at the M & M Pool Room in Fort Pierce, Florida. The St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office raided the pool hall for what they claim to be an illegal gambling operation.

When police served a search warrant at the pool hall they found evidence that an illegal poker gambling operation was taking place. They found cards, chips, and dice inside of a suitcase, and also found large amounts of cash on several of the participants of the game.

Courtney V. Harris was arrested and accused of running a gambling room. He was sitting in front of the dealer tray at the poker table. Four other men were also arrested in the sting and three were charged with a misdemeanor gambling charge. The fourth was found with a small amount of marijuana and charged accordingly.

Owen Morris admitted to frequently playing in the card game, and police found over $900 on his person. He claimed the money was not for gambling and that it was his grandmother’s rent.

Harris admitted to running the pool hall and seemed confident that the poker game he was running was legal. He told police he would be glad to explain how the game worked when his lawyer was by his side.

Kentucky Appeal Announced In Internet Gambling Domain Name Case

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The state of Kentucky responded on Wednesday to a Court of Appeals decision the way any losing party would. They announced that they are ready to take their case to the state Supreme Court.

The Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 in favor of 141 online gambling sites. In their ruling, the justices announced that they made their decision based on the fact that domain names are not defined as gambling devices under state law.

“The evidence demonstrates that illegal and unregulated activity is occurring in Kentucky, and that millions of dollars are being lost as a result of that activity, a fact that wasn’t disputed in Tuesday’s ruling,” said J. Michael Brown, Secretary of the state Justice and Public safety Cabinet.

Now that the Appeals Court has ruled on the matter, some believe that the state is spending too much resources trying to seize the domain names. The use of taxpayer is being called into question.

“Kentucky residents should be outraged that the commonwealth is investing another minute of time and another dollar of scarce resources in this quixotic case,” said John Pappas, Executive Director of the Poker Players Alliance.

In their ruling on Tuesday, the judges laid out the groundwork for how the state could proceed with their argument. They were told to either change their laws to include domain names to be included as a gambling device, or to appeal to the Kentucky Supreme Court.

“we now have two judges who agree with our position, and two who disagree, so the most appropriate step is to make our case to the higher court,” said Brown.

Former Sheriff Arrested During Gambling Sting in North Carolina

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Video gambling machines can be found more and more around the country in bars, nightclubs, and even convenience stores. While most of the owners that possess these machines will claim they are for entertainment only, plenty of real money is being spent in them.

Police have gone on what seems to have amounted to a year long crusade to stop illegal gambling on these machines. The latest arrests happened on Thursday in North Carolina. Former Buncombe County Sheriff Bobby Medford was arrested.

The indictment on Medford claims that he was covering campaign expenses and a $54,000 loss at Cherokee Harrah’s Casino with the illegal money.

Medford had several deputies picking up money from machine owners in their uniforms, according to the indictment. Three of Medford’s deputies were also jailed in the sting.

Video Poker was legal in North Carolina up until July 1st this year. Sheriffs had the job of checking owners paperwork before machines were registered. These Sheriffs, however, took their jobs a step further and offered protection to the machine owners in exchange for cash.

North Carolina is yet another stater that has done extensive investigations into illegal video gaming in the state. Those investigations have led to arrests involving fifteen counties in the state.

Weekend Internet Sports Gambling Bust Involves Former NFL Player

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Players in the NFL are given many different educational tools concerning illegal gambling. Lectures are given to rookies when they enter the league, and multiple programs are used to deter players from getting involved.

One former player now understands what the NFL was preaching. Over the weekend, former offensive lineman Todd Burger was arrested for his role in running an illegal Internet gambling site.

Berger, who played for the Chicago Bears and New York Jets, was apparently the muscle behind the operation. Anthony Pecoraro, who was also arrested, was the brains of the operation. Burger was used, according to police, as a collector of gambling debts.

The operation used the website Gamblers would go on the website under code names and numbers, and place illegal bets. The bets were then processed by Pecoraro, who also set player limits and controlled the collecting and paying of these bets.

$70,000 in cash was seized by the suspects in the case, who, in addition to Burger and Pecoraro, included Peter Carfaro, Stephen Barone, and Daniel Alaimo. Computers that possibly contained evidence, and a .357 Magnum handgun were also taken by authorities in the arrests.

A four month investigation concluded with the arrests according to New Jersey State Police and Somerset County Prosecutors.

Former Problem Gambling Addict Rips Tennessee Police Spokesman

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The state of Tennessee has a legalized form of gambling in the lottery. That is what makes Murfreesboro Police Spokesman Kyle Evans’ words seem a bit out of touch with reality for one former problem gambler.

“Gambling is illegal and unacceptable,” said Evans, after police officers raided three locations that were participating in illegal gambling machine operations. While Evans was speaking about the eight liner slot machines at the time of his comment, the choice of words seem peculiar to Harvey.

“The truth is that these police agencies are brainwashed into believing they are doing good when they bust gambling operations being run by their citizens. Many of these officers that take part in these raids take part in their states lottery’s, which is gambling. It is hypocritical and it must stop,” said former problem gambler Harvey, who did not want his last name revealed.

Harvey acknowledges that there is a difference between legal forms of gambling and illegal forms within a state. His problem with the system, however, is the broad consensus by politicians and enforcers of the law that the form of the gambling makes a difference.

“I had an addiction to all forms of gambling. I loved casino gambling, but I enjoyed playing scratch off tickets from the lottery. Sometimes I would buy hundreds at a time. No officer was ever concerned with my well being when I was buying these tickets, just whether it was a legal activity,” said Harvey.

Evans’ words came after Murfreesboro officers raided three locations that were illegally, under Tennessee law, paying out customers who won on their gaming machines. It is not the raid that upsets Harvey as much as the possibility that the funding for that raid could have been used to help problem gamblers.

“Law agencies around the US are spending large amounts of taxpayer dollars to throw people in jail for sometimes less than one day. If they would just direct those resources to problem gambling centers, many more people would be helped in dealing with their problem gambling addictions,” said Harvey.

He does bring up an interesting point of how individual states become hypocritical when dealing with gambling. In one sentence they make gambling seem like the worst forms of crime, and in the next moment, they are promoting their lotteries with television and radio advertisements.

The mixed signal is causing concern among residents in many of these states. Politicians already have a hard time convincing the people they represent that they are genuine, and the gambling issue has shed a dark light on that process.

Many states are currently revamping their laws and allowing more gambling to help with their budget deficits. The message, however, is one that Harvey warns is a dangerous one.

“For years, politicians have told us that gambling comes with a price. Now they are saying that only illegal forms cause people pain. It is not true, and I am living proof of that,” he said.

Former Online Gambling CEO Suspected Murderer Sentenced to 105 Years

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Adam Anhang, the former CEO of online gambling company, CWC Gaming, which runs, was brutally murdered a few months ago in San Juan Puerto Rico. One of the people who has been accused of the murder has now been sentenced to prison.

Jonathon Roman Rivera, 24, a restaurant worker, was sentenced to 105 years in jail for what authorities claimed was his role in Anhang’s death.

Anhang had been in the middle of a divorce at the time he was murdered. His wife, Aurea Vazquez Rijos, and Anhang, were walking away from a restaurant at the time of the attack. They were reportedly talking about the terms of their divorce.

While Rivera was sentenced, authorities believe that there were accomplices that were also involved. Police are continuing to pursue leads on the other people involved. Rivera was convicted in October. No forensic evidence was produced. He still claims he had nothing to do with the murder. When the judge asked him for final remarks before being sentenced, he said, “I’m not involved with this.”

Rijos did not co-operate with authorities. She has recently filed a lawsuit against Anhang’s parents, trying to acquire half of his earnings and assets that he received during their marriage.

Big Win for Online Gambling Industry, Bwin Interactive, in Germany

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Germany is trying to ban gambling on the Internet. New legislation that is to become effective next year will make gambling on the Internet illegal.

Bwin Interactive Entertainment will not have to follow that legislation after a ruling in a German regional court. The company will be allowed to continue to operate their sportsbook online with a few limitations.

“We welcome the decision because it confirms the license and makes clear that the planned gambling law can’t be realized,” said a spokesman for Bwin E.K.

The license in question goes back to right before German reunification in 1990. The company will be allowed to continue to operate in what was the former Communist East Germany. That means, on the down side for Bwin, that the license is not valid in the western area of the country.

The bad news is not all that bad for Bwin. A spokesman for the company claims that they will just direct anyone from the western side to their international website, The Internet site is licensed with the British Overseas territory of Gibraltar.

Florida State Senate Passes Another Gambling Bill

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Florida had another gambling Bill passed by the Senate today. This one does not expand gambling, but it does offer some relief for dog and horse track owners.

Horse and dog tracks were ecstatic when they were allowed to expand and offer Vegas style slots at their locations. That optimism, however, was thwarted quickly when they realized they had to pay a fifty percent tax on earnings.

A Bill passed by the Senate today would help the track owners stay open for a while longer. Many of the current track owners are unhappy with the current tax rate. The new Bill would allow for any earnings above the mandatory $123 million paid to the state, would be at thirty five percent, not fifty.

“At a fifty percent tax rate they’re either losing money or barely breaking even now. And with additional competition from the Indians offering product that they can’t, I would expect that they would close. With a thirty five percent tax rate they have a shot of hanging on,” said the Bill’s sponsor, Senator Steve Geller.

Another Bill is also on the table, but chances are it will not get through the House. The other Bill has to do with a form of gambling expansion, something the House will not support.

“It’s like a cancer, it creeps everywhere,” said Senator Ronda Storm, when speaking of gambling expansion. The first Bill will probably pass the House only because laws are already in place allowing gambling at the dog and horse tracks.