WENATCHEE – The Washington State Gambling Commission arrested four people from the Greater Wenatchee Area for their roles in an illegal soccer betting ring operation.
This report comes from a press release posted by our Wenatchee news partners, Newsradio 560 KPQ.
Three men, a 52-year-old, a 49-year-old and a 43-year-old, were arrested and booked into jail on charges of professional gambling in the second degree, leading organized crime and criminal profiteering. A 53-year-old female was also arrested and booked for professional gambling in the second degree.
During the investigation, the commission found at least five businesses that were accepting and facilitating bets on professional soccer matches played in Mexico.
Along with arrests, agents also seized property and cash believed to be proceeds from the betting operation.
“Sports betting may be a hot topic right now, but regulated sports pools are currently the only legal form of sports betting in Washington State,” said Director Dave Trujillo. “This ring was a criminal organization and we will continue to protect the public by dismantling similar operations.”
Over the past few years, the commission has received a number of complaints about illegal soccer betting at multiple Wenatchee area businesses.
The ring was accepting between 200 and 700 bets each week. The ring leader was keeping up to 30% of the wagered money, which amounted to about $1,200 to $2,000 per week.
The Gambling Commission, along with multiple local police agencies, served search warrants at the five businesses and three residences in Wenatchee. Evidence of illegal sports betting, including betting slips and ledges were recovered along with two vehicles, $65,266 cash, and also froze $127,677 in bank account funds.
Search warrants were served with the assistance of Chelan County Sheriff’s Office, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations, Quincy Police Department, Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board, Wenatchee Police Department and Yakima County LEAD Task Force.