Police in the Los Angeles region are looking for a man over a shooting incident at an unlicensed gambling establishment. The event occurred when a disagreement between two people arose on a Tuesday afternoon in Temple City, California.
The casualty, a man around 30 years old, was shot and killed in the middle of the day at a former restaurant in the 9100 block of Las Tunas Drive in Temple City, California.
As per the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the facility, which is only blocks away from a middle school, operated as an illegal gambling parlor.
The police have not yet revealed the victim’s name, and the authorities have only described him as a Hispanic guy.
He was found with “at least one gunshot wound to his upper chest” after locals reported the incident at 12.19 p.m. When paramedics from the Los Angeles Fire Department arrived at the scene, they attempted to treat him but pronounced him dead.
Neighbors of the premise spoke with reporters and stated that people often came out of the property at unusual hours. It generated suspicions about what was happening within the building among people nearby.
Temple City local Pat Lacap informed ABC7:
“We sensed something was going on there for many months. It used to be a restaurant and was sold around five years ago, and we simply constantly observe folks in and out. We were always a bit anxious, like, ‘hopefully nothing awful occurred’ – now something bad has happened.” According to the property manager, the TV station stated that a company leased the facility to a security firm.
The motive for the murder of the suspect’s identity has yet to be released by police.
Lieutenant Vincent Ursini of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department informed ABC7:
“They [officers] made entry inside an illegal gambling establishment, commonly referred to as a ‘casita.” Once inside, they located a gunshot victim who sustained gunshot wounds to the upper torso area.” On Tuesday afternoon, a vast section of Las Tunas Drive was closed down, and police sealed off the area with duck tape while investigators inspected the murder scene.
Casitas, which technically means “small cottages” in Spanish but has come to define illicit gambling rings in Los Angeles, have been a menace.
Multiple Illegal Dens
Los Angeles is not the only city in California that has to deal with unauthorized gambling enterprises. San Francisco and Oakland are also affected. A two-year investigation resulted in a crackdown on activities in the San Diego region in 2021, carried out by the San Diego Police Department, the FBI, and other agencies.
Four hundred fifty officers inspected 24 locations in San Diego’s east region in one day, all linked to illegal gambling. After the incident, police apprehended 35 individuals, and the court charged 15 of them.
The probe culminated in the indictment of 47 people for crimes related to illicit casino gambling. Charges included running an illegitimate gambling den and possession of guns and narcotics.
In California, commercial casino gambling is unlawful if participants bet against the house. As a result, illicit institutions emerge as a source of wagering for residents. The charged individuals were either the proprietors or workers of the unlawful establishments. Employees performed duties such as machine auditors, doorkeepers, and money collectors.
Electronic gaming devices, such as slots or card games, are used in illicit parlors. Individuals run such enterprises out of their homes, apartments, or smaller businesses.
Nonetheless, legalized gambling is a lucrative industry in the United States.
As per the American Gaming Association, last year was the highest-grossing year in the history of the commercial gaming sector in the United States, with $53 billion in revenue.
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