Woman charged in video gambling crackdown

News Aug 14, 2009 Ancaster News

An Ancaster woman licensed to operate a downtown Hamilton convenience store has been charged with operating an illegal gambling machine.

The local resident is one of 15 people from Hamilton and the Greater Toronto Area facing charges from the OPP’s Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau. Police in multiple jurisdictions executed 29 search warrants in a massive sting on Aug. 5. Two men from Thornhill and Richmond Hill, who police allege distributed the machines, each face 20 charges of keep machines for gambling. The 45-year-old Ancaster resident faces a single charge.

OPP Detective Sergeant Paul Chafe said undercover officers visited various convenience stores and played the machines during an eight-month investigation. While possessing the machines is not illegal, using them for gambling purposes is an offense under section 202 of the Criminal Code.

“These machines can generate a couple thousand dollars a week depending how much play they get,” said Det. Sgt. Chafe.

He said most first time offenders receive only a fine that usually ranges from $500 to $1,000. All 15 people charged are believed to be first time offenders. While he acknowledged there are likely many more illegal gaming machines operating throughout the province, Det. Sgt. Chafe said the charges laid against two major distributors “are definitely a success” for law enforcement.

“I would hazard to guess there’s a lot more (machines) out there,” he added.

Debbie Spence, a spokesperson for the city’s economic development department, said the Ancaster woman named by police holds two licences for Food Shop and Cigarette and Tobacco Sales for 220 Wellington Street North at Imperial Variety. The accused are scheduled to appear in a Hamilton court on Sept. 2.

Woman charged in video gambling crackdown

News Aug 14, 2009 Ancaster News

An Ancaster woman licensed to operate a downtown Hamilton convenience store has been charged with operating an illegal gambling machine.

The local resident is one of 15 people from Hamilton and the Greater Toronto Area facing charges from the OPP’s Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau. Police in multiple jurisdictions executed 29 search warrants in a massive sting on Aug. 5. Two men from Thornhill and Richmond Hill, who police allege distributed the machines, each face 20 charges of keep machines for gambling. The 45-year-old Ancaster resident faces a single charge.

OPP Detective Sergeant Paul Chafe said undercover officers visited various convenience stores and played the machines during an eight-month investigation. While possessing the machines is not illegal, using them for gambling purposes is an offense under section 202 of the Criminal Code.

“These machines can generate a couple thousand dollars a week depending how much play they get,” said Det. Sgt. Chafe.

He said most first time offenders receive only a fine that usually ranges from $500 to $1,000. All 15 people charged are believed to be first time offenders. While he acknowledged there are likely many more illegal gaming machines operating throughout the province, Det. Sgt. Chafe said the charges laid against two major distributors “are definitely a success” for law enforcement.

“I would hazard to guess there’s a lot more (machines) out there,” he added.

Debbie Spence, a spokesperson for the city’s economic development department, said the Ancaster woman named by police holds two licences for Food Shop and Cigarette and Tobacco Sales for 220 Wellington Street North at Imperial Variety. The accused are scheduled to appear in a Hamilton court on Sept. 2.

Woman charged in video gambling crackdown

News Aug 14, 2009 Ancaster News

An Ancaster woman licensed to operate a downtown Hamilton convenience store has been charged with operating an illegal gambling machine.

The local resident is one of 15 people from Hamilton and the Greater Toronto Area facing charges from the OPP’s Organized Crime Enforcement Bureau. Police in multiple jurisdictions executed 29 search warrants in a massive sting on Aug. 5. Two men from Thornhill and Richmond Hill, who police allege distributed the machines, each face 20 charges of keep machines for gambling. The 45-year-old Ancaster resident faces a single charge.

OPP Detective Sergeant Paul Chafe said undercover officers visited various convenience stores and played the machines during an eight-month investigation. While possessing the machines is not illegal, using them for gambling purposes is an offense under section 202 of the Criminal Code.

“These machines can generate a couple thousand dollars a week depending how much play they get,” said Det. Sgt. Chafe.

He said most first time offenders receive only a fine that usually ranges from $500 to $1,000. All 15 people charged are believed to be first time offenders. While he acknowledged there are likely many more illegal gaming machines operating throughout the province, Det. Sgt. Chafe said the charges laid against two major distributors “are definitely a success” for law enforcement.

“I would hazard to guess there’s a lot more (machines) out there,” he added.

Debbie Spence, a spokesperson for the city’s economic development department, said the Ancaster woman named by police holds two licences for Food Shop and Cigarette and Tobacco Sales for 220 Wellington Street North at Imperial Variety. The accused are scheduled to appear in a Hamilton court on Sept. 2.