Police in Brisbane shut down an illegal poker game overnight after a raid on an apartment in West End, in what is being billed as a crackdown on unlawful gambling in the city.
Officers from the Major and Organised Crime Squad arrested 21 people in the raid, which is probably a good thing, as any more than that and the whole operation could have been … a bust.
I know, technically that would be a blackjack joke, but please just let me have this one.
According to local ABC News reports, police were following a tip-off from a member of the community, and seized “large amounts of cash”, as well as “gaming equipment, poker chips and phones.”
Detective Sergeant John Rhule told media that players were “surprised” when police busted in on them, adding:
“It’s the first time in many years the State Crime Command has investigated such a matter of a suspected unlawful game – it doesn’t occur often. The game consisted of a professional set-up with professional poker tables, professional chips. It was quite well-resourced and established.”
Given the large amounts of cash involved and the apparent sophistication of the operation, police suspect that last night’s poker game may well have been linked to a larger organised crime network.
Police have urged members of the public to come forward with any information about other unlawful games that may be operating in the area.
Under Queensland Law, operating a place for unlawful games is punishable by a fine of more than $75,000, or three years in prison. A person found guilty of playing an unlawful game can be hit with a fine exceeding $5000.