In a massive drive against illegal gambling in Hawaii, law enforcement officers from multiple departments conducted joint raids on two illegal gaming operations in homes in both Pearl City and Waipahu on the Hawaiian island of Oahu.
The officials have confirmed busting an online gambling ring and confiscating 60 gaming machines. $150,000 in cash has also been seized.
The operation was a joint effort of officials from Honolulu Police Department, the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Department of Homeland Security.
It has been reported that there were 15 people engaged in illegal gaming operations; while eight of them have been arrested 7 reportedly managed to flee.
U.S. District Attorney Kenju Price, who has been behind the cleaning drive against gambling said: “With today’s announcement of criminal charges, civil forfeitures, complaints, and seizures, we’re communicating a very clear message to illegal game room owners. Our goal is to take your property through civil or criminal forfeiture. And if you or anyone else you know happens to get a cut of the proceeds of illegal gambling, we’ll be trying to seize that, too.”
Warning those involved with illicit gambling activities on the Island, the District Attorney warned: “Through our investigations, we’ve identified 80 illegal game rooms on Oahu alone. They’re located in commercial areas and houses located in residential areas. Our plan is to serve the owners or operators of each of these gambling establishments with a notice of illegal use of their property.”