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24 arrested in Garden Grove for illegal gambling operations

Senior Reporter

California is known as the land of milk and honey due to its rich and fertile land. But not all areas in Cali are as pleasant as what you usually see in movies. Garden Grove, a city in the northern Orange County area, has a crime rate that is higher than 71% of the state's cities and towns of all sizes. As you can imagine, the types of offenses are as colorful as they can get, and gambling-related crimes are not excluded.

Garden Grove Police Department
Garden Grove Police Department badge. Image: ggcity.org

Not even two full days into July of 2021, Garden Grove police arrested twelve individuals, seizing 12 illegal gambling machines during a warranted search. The police entered the storefront in the 8200 block of Garden Grove Boulevard at around 5 pm on July 2. According to local officials, multiple complaints were filed from the surrounding community prior to the search.

After the unsurprising discovery, 24 suspects were arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor illegal gambling charges and are now facing harsh consequences. This wasn’t anything shocking, considering that the area is filled with crime, and the police are already used to used to such incidents.

Besides, this wasn’t the first time this happened in the past weeks. Officials reported that19 people were arrested after a similar search and found to be involved with the illegal gambling operation at a Garden Grove home Wednesday night, early this June. These “slap houses,” the underground operations, have been a problem for quite some time in California and many other states across America.

The earlier incident didn’t happen too far from the initial location, as Garden Grove blvd and 10000 block of McMichael Drive are less than 10 minutes apart. Authorities informed the public that at least 10 to 15 illegal gambling operations get busted annually in the surrounding area.

“A common theme in these places is illegal drugs such as methamphetamine being consumed,” he said. “Also, they are typically using criminal street gangs as security due to the amount of cash flowing through these enterprises.”,  Garden Grove Sgt. Troy Haller stated, giving a pretty clear insight into what it’s like in the area. 

Drugs, crimes, and gambling usually go hand in hand in poverty-driven places. It’s a never ending circle: people sell drugs for money, want to make more, and gamble to do so. Others make bets to make money to buy and use substances. Some just love to gamble and simply fall into addiction due to the environment.

What’s even more fascinating is there are drugs called dopamine agonists that have an odd side effect that may result in compulsive behaviors, and gambling in some individuals. A study shows that substances that are known to worsen/cause gambling disorder are: pramipexole, listed as suspected drug in 56% of all ICSRs, ropinirole in 15% of all ICSRs, levodopa in association with benserazide/entacapone and carbidopa in 11%, aripiprazole and rotigotine, each one in 5%.

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