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The FBI has busted a Staten Island gambling ring and landed some of New York's finest behind bars. Several of the culprits were current and former members of the FDNY and NYPD. The Staten Island gambling operation included over 15 members and several locations, each amassing more than $2,000 in revenues a day.
A NYPD detective sold gambling chips, while the two FDNY firefighters dealt cards, according to the indictment. And, some of the other NYPD and FDNY members involved helped provide security and "muscle" for the gambling operation, reports MSNBC.
Among the arrested were a police detective, two firefighters, a retired police sergeant and a retired firefighter, all with the NYPD or FDNY, reports The New York Times.
The gambling operation was based around a series of locations where gamblers could play cards, reports The Wall Street Journal.
Each gambler would be sent text messages that invited them to a specific location that was part of the gambling ring.
The investigation into the gambling operation was headed by the internal affairs division of the NYPD, and included undercover work by police officers. The actual raid and arrests were conducted by the FBI, reports The Wall Street Journal.
The NYPD and FDNY members have been charged with conspiracy to operate an illegal gambling business and illegal gambling, according to The Wall Street Journal.
A gambling ring like the one that was bused in this case is different than social, private gambling, which is generally allowed. When someone plays a game of cards at their friends' house and bets a few dollars, it's usually not considered "gambling." But when you play cards at a private location where the goal of the operation is to make money off the bets that players make, it is more likely to be considered an illegal gambling operation.
So, the Staten Island gambling ring - likely illegal. The FDNY, NYPD gambling - a bad combination, and bad press, for sure.