Yet another California gaming venue finds itself in trouble with the law after federal authorities charged the owner of San Diego’s Lucky Lady Casino & Card Room with running an illegal sports betting operation.
On Wednesday, a joint operation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation and the San Diego Police Department resulted in 14 men being charged with racketeering, running an illegal gambling business and transmission of wagering information.
Among those charged was Stanley Samuel Penn, the Lucky Lady’s owner. The US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California said the Lucky Lady was used as a legitimate front for the illegal credit betting operation, which was principally led by Sanders Bruce Segal.
The authorities began their investigation in 2014, ultimately concluding that “Segal’s “Lucky Lady Sports Book” connected bookies, sub-bookies and major betting whales with online sports betting sites based outside the United States. Some of the sites were owned and controlled by the defendants.
The illegal sportsbook reportedly generated around $1m in net proceeds for its operators. Sanders Segal’s son Sydney Bruce Segal used his position as manager of the cage at the Lucky Lady to commingle the unlawful sportsbook proceeds with the legitimate income generated via the card room.
The feds utilized a combination of wiretaps and undercover agents to confirm that the illegal sportsbook operators were using the card room to solicit betting clients. For the time being, the FBI said it doesn’t plan to interfere with the Lucky Lady’s card room operation.
The Lucky Lady bust is the latest in a series of black eyes recently inflicted upon California’s non-tribal gaming industry. Earlier this month, the Hawaiian Gardens Casino was fined $2.8m for violating the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA). Similar shenanigans resulted in a $2.3m penalty for the Normandie Casino in January and a $650m penalty for the Oaks Card Club last December.