Los Angeles Councilman Vows to Address City’s Rising ‘Slaphouse’ Problem
The motion directs city departments to find ways to deter landlords from leasing commercial properties to those involved in illegal gaming and to force them to terminate leases when infractions are uncovered, MyNewsLA reports.
“These are not friendly weekend poker game,” Blumenfield said. “These are full-fledged illegal casinos fixed with gambling machines, many of which with deep ties to local and international organized crime syndicates. We need to get a handle on this now to shut them down.”
What’s a Slaphouse?
Slaphouses — apparently named for the button-bashing sound made by patrons playing on illegal machines — are a growing phenomenon in LA and elsewhere. Often springing up in areas where retail has taken a downturn, they usually look like vacant storefronts and sometimes still sport the signage of the previous occupying business.
Inside, you won’t find traditional slots. These gaming machines usually come from overseas – most often from Japan, China or Korea — and offer arcade-style, skill-based gambling games.
Police raids have frequently turned up what authorities have described as an arcade-style “fishing game” built into a table. These are the “Fish Hunter” genre of games — which include titles like King of Treasures, Dragon Hunter, and Ocean King. They’ve been popular in Asia for the past 15 years but are now an American slaphouse staple. These particular titles are made and distributed by various companies based in China, according to their websites.
According to Blumfield, slaphouses are linked to an increase in crime, including gang activity, the sale of drugs, and prostitution. Last year, LAPD executed 48 search warrants for illegal gambling dens, a 300 percent increase on the previous year.
FOX 11 recently joined Vice units from LAPD’s Valley Bureau on nine separate raids of illegal casinos operating throughout the San Fernando Valley. The news channel learned that in many cases the slaphouses’ finances and servers were controlled by criminals in Eastern Europe.
Blumfield’s motion also asks the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety, in consultation with the Department of City Planning, Department of Water and Power and the LAPD, to prepare a report on strategies and tools that could deter gambling operators from setting up in abandoned storefronts. The councilman said this would have the dual purpose of eliminating slaphouses and providing enforcement tools other than the LAPD.
Last year, the California legislature passed a bill that made it easier for local authorities to seize assets from illegal gambling dens.
The post Los Angeles Councilman Vows to Address City’s Rising ‘Slaphouse’ Problem appeared first on Casino.org.
Codere SA to take its iGaming subsidiary public via SPAC merger
Spanish gaming operator Codere SA has announced the signing of a definitive agreement that is…
BoyleSports wades into the race for British assets of William Hill
Privately-owned Irish bookmaker BoyleSports has reportedly become the latest to express an interest in buying…
Pragmatic Play releases online partner Wild Streak Gaming’s latest slot title, Lucky Lightning
Las Vegas-based game studio Wild Streak Gaming‘s latest slot title, Lucky Lightning, has launched with…
Intertops Poker announces new extra spins week with Take the Bank and Take Olympus
It’s time to take a few extra spins from Intertops Poker. The brand is highlighting…
AGS launches with OLG for Canadian real money online gaming market
Las Vegas-based American Gaming Systems (AGS) (NYSE: AGS) has increased its presence in Canada having…
Churchill Downs Incorporated weighing up Arlington International Racecourse bids
In the American state of Illinois and Churchill Downs Incorporated has reportedly announced that it…