On Thursday afternoon July 9th investigators from the Arizona Department of Gaming and members of the Phoenix Police Department served a search warrant at a business named Ten & Two located at 2945 E. Bell Road. During the joint operation almost a dozen people were detained in connection to the business and one will be facing multiple charges including operating an illegal gaming facility, promotion of illegal gambling, and racketeering.
Several people who may have been customers inside the business were also arrested for various outstanding warrants or drug offences.
Over the past month investigators have been looking into the business and found it was operating as sweepstakes based internet café. The illegal gambling operation allowed paying customers to play casino style games on computers inside the business. The games simulated what is often seen on the screens of electronic slot machines inside regulated casinos. However, these businesses often attempt to disguise their illegal activity by changing the games to appear as sweepstakes games.
For example, on the screen players might see the word “reveal” instead of the traditional word “spin” as on an electronic slot machine. The change in verbiage does not make these machines or the business legal under Arizona law.
The Arizona Department of Gaming takes complaints about illegal gambling businesses very seriously. These unregulated cash businesses can often attract violent crimes to area neighborhoods, as recently seen in the Phoenix area.
The recent partnership between Arizona Department of Gaming and Phoenix Police has led to the closure two of these illegal gambling operations after serving search warrants on each during the past month.
Those operations have also lead to the voluntary closure of at least eight other known illegal gambling locations and the eviction of two businesses by their landlords.
If you feel a business in your area might be an illegal gambling operation, you can e-mail the location to the Arizona Department of Gaming anonymously, that address is firstname.lastname@example.org