On the news, illegal casinos and underground gambling halls are often blown up by the police, and these secret places are usually associated with crime, drugs and violence.
But where are the strangest places on earth that these shady businesses have taken place? We have compiled a list of remote, illegal, or less than legitimate casinos, all of which have been found in seriously bizarre locations.
All very forbidden era …
Behind a secret wall in the back of a cheese shop – Alicante, Spain
Image: National Police
We start with our favorite story. It’s about an illegal casino in a cheese shop. Did you hear it?
A gourmet grocery store in Alicante, Spain was recently blown up for hosting illegal poker games in its wine and cheese cellar.
Apparently a shelf on one wall led to a hidden door and a quiet back room.
The police raid uncovered not only a poker den, but also evidence of drug trafficking. Cash and cocaine were found on the premises.
Not only has it violated the laws governing private poker games, which are illegal in Spain, but also the coronavirus lockdown rules in one of the hardest-hit nations in Europe.
As for the fronts, we think a cheese shop is devilishly awesome. Who would have thought?
Shopping center with a secret elevator – Kiev, Ukraine
A few years ago, around 30 players were brought to their knees in an illegal but luxurious casino right in the center of Kiev, the capital of Ukraine.
The site? A shopping mall and an office building.
The mall-based casino was only for VIPs and reportedly even used a secret elevator operated with a magnetic key that took special guests to a fourth floor, which was locked by a locking system. That’s a lot of trouble just to get caught.
During their raid, the police are said to have confiscated cash, weapons and ammunition along with playground equipment.
20,000 square foot mansion and spa – Markham, Canada
Canadian police officers recently made world news after raiding a huge, luxurious, 20,000-square-foot mansion on two acres in the Markham, York area.
The reason? It operated as an illegal gambling den and did not follow COVID-19 security guidelines, while legal casinos remained closed due to bans.
The lavish house probably looked like a bed and breakfast to the untrained eye, at least above.
But down in the basement there is said to have been a hive of illegal activity in the form of an underground casino filled with table games, slot machines, and … a spa.
Yeah, we’re a little confused about the last part too.
In addition to blaming people, the police also confiscated cash, property, firearms and alcohol for over CA $ 10 million.
Among the illegal items discovered were shark fins, which were widely used to make the controversial shark fin soup and which have been blamed for endangering sharks around the world. A rifle was also found in the villa.
Inside a tailor in a strip mall – San Diego, USA
A mall in San Diego is the backdrop for our next “underground” casino. More specifically, a clothing change shop with a twist.
It may have looked nondescript next to a coffee shop, but KT Alterations & Gifts was reportedly far from innocent, which led to it being searched by police in October 2020.
Officials found evidence – including slot machines – that a game room was ripped from the books.
The illicit casino was also caught with drugs and drug equipment and around $ 1,700 hidden cash in drywall.
In COVID-Time Italian cafes – Italy
Image: Louis Hansel @ shotoflouis / Unsplash
If you’ve been to Italy before, you’ll find that the cafe culture is where coffee is sipped while standing at the bar.
But did you know that it is also quite common to place a bet when you do this?
It is usually legal for regular and licensed Italian cafe bars to sell sports betting, slot machines, and lottery tickets on the side.
However, during certain periods of lockdown restrictions for COVID-19 in Italy, this was prohibited.
However, gambling has reportedly continued “illegally” and flourished across the country during that period. Critics argued that a ban only robs the tax state.
Maybe Italy is the destination you never knew you wanted to visit … in normal times, of course.
“Game”, behind company in London Backstreets, UK
London is known for its glamorous, well-heeled casinos.
But there is also said to be a thriving underground scene of “Spiel”, illegal gambling halls in the less attractive parts of the city.
Backstreets, mini booth offices, and cafes are among the places that are often said to obscure the gambling halls from sight.
But they have a long history. These “dives” have reportedly been around since the 1920s and they have gained a foothold in the criminal underworld of the British capital.
It sounds like a plot for a Ray Winstone movie. But these gangster-filled venues are set in a secret world of crime and drugs that you likely need an invitation and reputation to enter.
Pop-up games, often evading law enforcement because they are difficult to prove and always on the move, are likely to remain part of the London gaming landscape for a while.
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