New poker raids in Toronto

Reports on CTV Toronto indicate that the police have again been active in raiding "poker houses" in the city. Police executed search warrants on Nuttz and the Pertutti Bar and claim to have seized gaming tables, chips, cards, other equipment and cash.

Seven people have been charged with keeping a common gaming house, and fifty-six others with being found in a common gaming house.

The investigation, led by the organised crime section's illegal gambling unit, is in collaboration with various police services across southern Ontario from Ottawa to Windsor, a police spokesman revealed this week.

"The unit is responsible for province-wide illegal gambling investigations pertaining to Part VII of the Criminal Code within the province of Ontario, with an emphasis on organised crime," he said.

Det. Emilio DiPoce told the news station that illegal gambling operations had been lucrative for the owners, earning up to Cdn$ 1.5 million a year.

"It's astronomical how much money they make," DiPoce told reporters. "Anybody who deals in drugs has got to have their head read, when the gambling is so easy for them." And, he added, the money was not declared for tax, doubling its intrinsic worth.

DiPoce said such gaming clubs are "popping up all over the place," and predicted that ythe situation would get worse due to growing enthusiasm for poker generated by extensive television coverage and advertising.

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