It’s not the wake-up call you want to receive.
This past week, the Bexar County Sherrif’s Organized Crime Group and SWAT executed an early morning raid of an illegal gambling ring on the south side of San Antonio. The bust is another in the latest in a crackdown on outlaw gambling throughout the state.
“At this point, I would consider this a resounding success,” Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar said in a press conference after the raid. “They said this place has been actually continuously operating for 10 years now. So thankfully we were able to get in and get it shut down, and see where the owners go from here.”
Deputies rammed gate to get in, found cash, ATM, weapons
If you happened to be walking near the intersection of East Harding Boulevard and Roosevelt Avenue around a week ago, you would’ve seen a SWAT team pull up to a house and quickly smash their way through a gate.
On the other side of that gate? Possibly an armed guard and an illegal gambling outfit that had run their racket for a decade. Photos from the scene reveal that law enforcement came away from the scene with at least one person in custody. They also procured a cash counter or storage box with a big stack of bills of an unknown denomination.
Law enforcement also recovered what look to be a pair of amateurish signs touting keno, slots, and other games. Deputies found dozens of gambling machines, two weapons, an ATM, a safe, and a sizable stash of cash.
Salazar said in an interview after the raid that his team was still counting the money found at the scene. He added that a literal bag of money they found at the scene contained $15,000.
Salazar’s team had to call in the fire department to help bust open the ATM, he said.
“You may have seen the fire department come,” Salazar said. “That was a technical group that came to help us out with gaining entry to an ATM and SAFE that was there.”
Video from the sheriff’s office shows what looks like a member of the fire department using a sizable saw to cut into the ATM.
In total, three people were arrested for their alleged connection to the gambling ring. A fourth person was arrested for alleged possession of methamphetamine, according to Salazar. The sheriff added that the three arrested for maintaining the gambling operation will face various charges.
Gambling den was illegal, but it was polite
The Bexar County Sheriff’s department showed video of the gambling area. At what is presumed to be the entrance of the gambling parlor is a list of rules written in cursive on a sheet of paper. The rules included such pleasantries as:
- Please call before arrival. Also, when inviting new players, you must call for approval prior to arriving.
- Please do not ask for money from other players, attendants, management, or owners. You will be asked to leave.
- Refreshments are complimentary while playing. Please do not take to go.
- Please be considerate of our neighbors. No loud music while driving in or out.
Additionally, an entrance to the facility reminded players there were nightly games and a $10,000 cap on betting. In addition, standing around without playing was not allowed.
Inside the facility, there are multiple black video gambling cabinets number with black and white stickers. At least one machine had a yellow and white sign that said, “Don’t Skip the Tip.”