Illegal Video Slots in Northern California Draws a Guilty Plea

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There is legalized real money gambling in many parts of the country. Most of this gambling takes place at brick and mortar casinos that are regulated by each state’s gambling commission. There is also quite a bit of illegal gambling that takes place through the use of video slot machines at a variety of business such as convenience stores, neighborhood bars and private social clubs.

According to a recent report in the covering local crime news, one of the ring leaders of an illegal gambling operation has plead guilty to the charges levied against him. Late last week, May Levy from Walnut Creek plead guilty to ‘conducting an illegal gambling operation involving video slot machines’. This took place from the Sacramento region of Northern California to San Jose.

The 27-year old Israeli citizen has been linked to a group of  four co-defendants from court records dating back to December of last year. The other three include Eran Buhbut (32) of Oakland, Yaniv Gohar (34) of Berkeley and Orel Gohar (27) of San Francisco according to a US Attorney’s Office news release as contained in the report.California law clearly prohibits the installation, operation and maintenance of video slot machines at any business open to the public across the Northern California region. The four members of this gambling organization shared the profits from the operation of these video slots with the business owners that ran the establishments where they were installed. Levy’s specific area of operation for his illegal gambling machines included Stockton, Sacramento, Concord , Hayward, Antioch, El Cerrito, San Pablo, Richmond, San Jose, Watsonville and Salida according to the news release cited in this report. It was also mentioned that Levy collected between $3000 to $4000 from his locations on a weekly basis as a representative of this illegal gambling operation.

The report adds that Levy is free on bail while he awaits sentencing on Aug. 3 by US District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. Buhbut is awaiting a status conference scheduled for June 1 and the other two suspects fai led to appear at their court hearings earlier this year. At this time, the report states that a warrant for their arrest has been issued.This case was originally investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the California Department of Justice through the Bureau of Gambling Control. The initial investigation goes back to September of 2015. It started with Israeli national Nive Hagay, who was referred to as “Dino the Casino”. He plead guilty to illegal gambling activities in May of 2017. He also pled guilty to one count of distributing cocaine. He was sentenced to two years in prison and subject to a forfeiture of assets totaling $320,000.The investigation started with an inside tip from someone who saw a video slot mach ine inside smoke shop located in Stockton. The evidence for the case was gathered through a video surveillance operation and well as the use of a paid informant.

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