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Hesperia Internet cafes raided in illegal gambling probe

March 20, 2013 | 10:55 am

The  San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department has seized more than 200 electronic gaming machines from four Internet cafes in Hesperia as part of an investigation into illegal gambling.

The seizures, which included money believed to be profits from illegal gambling, took place after a four-month undercover investigation in which detectives played the illegal games themselves, according to a statement from Sheriff-Coroner John McMahon.

Agents from the California Department of Justice's Bureau of Gambling Control also were involved in the investigation.

On Tuesday, search warrants were served at the four Internet cafes, which were not identified in the statement. Several people believed to be the cafe operators were detained and released. Investigators are trying to find co-conspirators, as well as other gambling enterprises run by the same operators.

According to the state Bureau of Gambling Control, some Internet cafes offer “promotional sweepstakes” in which credits can be used to play illegal gambling games, with cash prizes of up to $4,000.

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-- Cindy Chang

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