Details Emerge about Vancouver Poker Raid that Nabbed River Rock Casino Dealers

Two poker dealers at the River Rock Casino near Vancouver were also allegedly dealing cards at an illegal gambling house, according to details of a police raid that recently became public.

police raid

Stacks of cash and chips were found after police raided a suspected illegal gambling house in Vancouver. (Image Credit: Poker After Dark/NBC)

CBC news obtained a copy of the search warrant that allowed British Columbia’s anti-gang unit to raid an establishment located above an auto-repair shop in the Vancouver suburb of Richmond this past spring. Authorities arrested nine people in the bust: the suspected dealers, in addition to three men who identified themselves as professional poker players.

While the two dealers weren’t employed at Richmond’s River Rock Casino at the time of the raid, they are registered gaming workers, which is a problem for their former employer, who insist the casino has a “zero tolerance for our staff having any relationship with an illegal facility.”

While no criminal charges were filed, the two dealers could lose their gaming licenses allowing them to work at BC casinos.

Cash Stacked High

The gambling house caught the attention of police after numerous complaints from neighbors regarding “dressed-up women” and “fancy cars” coming and going from the facility at all hours of the night.

When they finally raided the space after months of observation, they found what appeared to be a high-stakes poker game.

“Members observed several people sitting around a gaming table and were actively involved in betting with stacks of gaming chips in front of them,” read the search warrant, according to CBC News.

Further searches revealed cabinets full of chips, surveillance cameras, and a backpack packed with cash. In total, police seized $36,260 in cash and $15,555 in checks.

One of the professional poker players was found with $11,805 stacked in front of him, while a second one was said to have 94 $100 bills on the table. 

Court documents reveal that one of the women was “seated in the center right of the tale and is believed to be the dealer.” It’s not clear if the other female was playing poker, but she was said to be found with a blank check for $1,375.

In addition to those seizures, police also impounded five poker tables and one Mahjong table. Despite all that, authorities say there was “insufficient evidence” to lay any charges.

Rash of Raids

Such raids are not nearly as common north of the border as they are south of the border. While stories like this from Canada are relatively rare, it’s something that’s become common place in the US.

One of the more recent raids took place in New York City, when authorities revealed that an underground small-stakes poker game was allegedly being used as a front for a major drug distribution ring.

Last year, Tennessee police busted a low-stakes game being run out of a small-town hotel room. They described it as a threat to public safety after discovering drugs, guns, and large amounts of cash in the room.

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