Two brothers from Minnesota are being investigated by the Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division (AGED) over an alleged illegal TikTok-based gambling scheme.
The elder brother is accused of running a bookie service where TikTok viewers could subscribe for a fee of $5.99 and send him money to gamble on their behalf. He live streamed himself playing slots at Mystic Lake Casino and Treasure Island Resort & Casino, using subscribers’ money and reportedly keeping $25 for every $100 a viewer “deposited” with him.
The police are currently in the process of gathering evidence, including financial records, and app login history to build a case and prove that the brothers made bets on behalf of others, which is illegal. The amount of money won or lost in the scheme was not disclosed in the court filing, but videos on the suspect’s TikTok page show massive jackpots being won, including one for $15,000.
Casinos Clamp Down
The casinos eventually heard about the illegal activity and banned the suspect from their premises. The suspect briefly spoke to the media, claiming that he only gambles with his own money, but multiple eyewitnesses and evidence suggest otherwise.
A Las Vegas resident reached out to state officials with a complaint about the suspect, alleging that the individual takes a portion of the funds given to him by followers, which he calls a deposit or donation but is actually understood to be the total amount bet by the followers.
Eric Pehle, a spokesperson for the Prairie Island Indian Community (operator of Treasure Island), stated that livestreaming is permitted within the casino, but betting for others is strictly prohibited. The operator of Mystic Lake, Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community Gaming Enterprise, also permits livestreaming as long as it is limited to the guest and their party, and any wagering activity that profits from others’ bets is not allowed.
A state agent who filed an affidavit said that she watched the TikTok streams and saw the suspect “conduct the same illegal gambling activity.” The agent added that the suspect “would verbally ask players by name which slot machines they wanted [him] to play for them” and corrected viewers who asked about bets, referring to them as “deposits” or “donations.”
The man and his younger brother, who is accused of aiding in the scheme, have not been charged with any offenses yet by authorities.
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