Many illegal casinos and underground gambling dens are getting busted by the police in the news, and these secret spots are often the den of crime, drugs, and violence. Here are the 6 Craziest Illegal Casino Locations in the world.
But where are the weirdest places on earth that these shady dealings have taken place? We’ve rounded up a list of off-the-beaten-track, illegal, or nothing like legitimate casinos that were all found in seriously bizarre locations.
1. Behind a secret wall at the back of a cheese shop – Alicante, Spain
It’s an illegal casino in a cheese shop. Don’t surprise! A gourmet food store in Alicante, Spain, was recently unearthed for hosting illegal poker games in its wine and cheese cellar. This is one of the 6 Craziest Illegal Casino Locations in the world.
A display shelf on a wall led to a hidden door and a hush-hush backroom.
The police raid unearthed not just a poker den but evidence of drug trafficking, with cash and cocaine found on the premises.
Not only did it break laws on private poker games, which are illegal in Spain, it also broke coronavirus lockdown rules in one of the worst-hit nations in Europe.
2. Shopping center with a secret elevator – Kyiv, Ukraine
A couple of years ago, about 30 gamblers were busted at an illegal but luxury casino right in the heart of Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital city. It is located at a shopping center and office block. This is one of the 6 Craziest Illegal Casino Locations in the world.
The mall-based casino was for VIPs only. As per reposts, it even used a secret elevator worked by a magnetic key, which sent special guests up to a fourth-floor protected by a system of locks. That’s a lot of effort but unfortunately, end up getting caught.
During their raid, along with gaming equipment, the police are said to have confiscated cash, weapons, and ammunition.
3. 20,000 sq ft mansion and spa – Markham, Canada
Canadian police made global news recently, after raiding a huge, luxurious 20,000 sq ft mansion on a two-acre property in Markham, York region.
The reason? It was running as an illegal gambling den and failing to follow COVID-19 safety guidance, while legal casinos remained closed due to lockdown. This is one of the 6 Craziest Illegal Casino Locations in the world.
The lavish home looked like a bed and breakfast to the untrained eye, at least upstairs.
In the basement, there was a hive of illicit activity in the form of an underground casino filled with games tables, slot machines, and a spa.
Police seized over CA$10 million in cash, assets, firearms, and alcohol.
They also discovered the illegal items like shark fins, often used to make the controversial sharks fin soup, blamed for endangering sharks across the globe. A rifle was also found in the mansion premises.
4. Inside tailors in a strip mall – San Diego, US
A strip mall in San Diego is the den to the ‘underground’ casino. Or to be more specific, a clothing alterations store with a twist.
It may have looked inconspicuous sat next to a coffee shop but KT Alterations & Gifts was reportedly far from innocent, leading to it being raided by police in October 2020. This is one of the 6 Craziest Illegal Casino Locations in the world.
The police found evidence – including gaming machines – of a gambling parlor being run off the books.
The illegal casino was also possessing drugs and drug equipment, as well as around $1,700 of concealed cash in drywall.
5. In COVID-Time Italian Cafés – Italy
If you have ever been to Italy, you’ll have noticed that café culture includes sipping coffee whilst standing up at the bar.
But did you know it’s also pretty commonplace to place a bet as you do so?
It’s usually legal for regular and licensed Italian café bars to operate sports betting, slot machines and sell lottery tickets on the side.
But during certain periods of Italy’s COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, this was prohibited.
However, gambling continued ‘illegally’, even flourishing across the nation during this time, with critics arguing that making it forbidden only robs the state of taxes.
Probably Italy is the gaming destination you never knew you wanted to visit…in normal times, of course.
6. ‘Spiels’, Behind Businesses In London Backstreets, UK
This city is a vibrant one for its glamorous, well-heeled casinos.
But you will also find a thriving underground scene of ‘spiels’, illegal gambling dens in the less attractive parts of town.
Backstreets, mini-cab offices, and cafés are the places that are often said to disguise the gambling hubs in plain sight.
Often evading prosecution due to being difficult to prove and always on the move, pop-up spiels appears to stay a part of the London gaming landscape for a while yet.