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Tavares, Florida Remains in Operation Even As Authorities Investigate Legal Status and Robbery

person-playing-poker-1871508-300x189Tavares, Florida was once again the site of crime and controversy related to illegal internet gambling cafes after a robbery left a security guard incapacitated. This is the first robbery of illegal internet gambling cafes in the area. Additionally, and separately, the sheriff’s office has been working to shut down these illegal internet gambling cafes. It is not known at this time if anyone involved in the incident has retained an attorney.


Tavares, Florida has been a frequent venue for illegal internet gambling cafes and law enforcement crackdowns on such establishments. In 2018, the owner of one illegal internet gambling café was arrested on related gambling allegation with police finding TV screens and 50 hard drives for computers during the investigation.

More recently, four armed robbers stormed an illegal internet gambling café and incapacitated the security guard by tying him up and stealing his weapon. They hastily began their work by stealing money from both the players and venue and cell phones. The amount of money stolen is unknown at this time. However, two suspects have already been apprehended. The affected venue was operating only hours after the incident. It is not clear whether the stolen cash or items have been recovered. 


Illegal internet gambling in Florida is not confined to Tavares. A report on illegal internet gambling in Florida filed with the Florida Senate in 2011 stated that 4.8% of Floridians have participated at some time in their life, 3.3% have participated in the past year, and 0.8% have participated in the past week. This report clearly demonstrates that many Floridians have partaken, and in a separate report, the demographic profile of such gamblers is said to typically be males under 55 years old. More than 40% who gambled in this way were said to be at-risk or pathological gamblers. Although date on these operations is limited, nationally, the illegal internet gambling cafes in Florida and their counterparts represented a 10 to 15 billion dollar business in 2011.


Unfortunately, centers of gambling—both legal and not—are sometimes the venues for unrelated violent crimes. In September 2017, a man was drugged, led back to his hotel room, and robbed. He had his Rolex (valued at $15,000) and $1,000 in cash stolen after spending much of the evening with two women in the casino. In May of that year, another illegal internet gambling café was robbed by two men with an employee suffering a pistol-whipping during the commission of the crime.


No matter the location in Florida, those who choose to partake in gambling at specified venues should always be aware of their surroundings and those who engage them in conversation. Similarly, venues should consider adding extra security measures to help stop crimes before they occur and patrons lose their money or property to criminals. Anyone with information about suspicious activity related to gambling or illegal internet gambling cafes should contact local law enforcement to prevent a crime.


South Florida Gambling Attorney

If you are involved in an illegal gambling case, then you should hire an attorney. Contact Brian Silber, P.A. to set up a free initial consultation and work with one of South Florida’s most experienced fraud attorneys.

Sources: 10.12.19 Illegal Gambling Operation Robbed

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