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30 arrested in $15 million gambling operation in Austin, Texas

May 24, 2006
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30 arrested in $15 million gambling operation in Austin, Texas

The Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas- More than 30 people were arrested on gambling charges for their alleged roles in an illegal gambling operation that police say netted more than $15 million in two years.

Some of the illegal profits were sent to Pakistan, said a federal indictment unsealed on Tuesday, when most of the defendants were arrested. Investigators seized some of the suspects' bank accounts.

The investigation could last another 18 months, police Cmdr. Harold Piatt said.

"This investigation potentially is the largest this department could ever be involved in," Piatt said. "There is more money, more players and more opportunity for nefarious activity."

The joint city and federal investigation began more than a year ago when investigators seized 733 slot machines of a type known as "eight-liners" because they offer eight ways to win on each spin.

Texas law allows such gambling only if the machines award non-cash prizes worth no more than $5 or 10 times the amount of a single play, but police said players were promised cash payouts.

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