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Dozens charged, millions in property, cash seized in alleged illegal casino bust

Last Updated Sep 30, 2020 at 11:38 am EDT

Millions of dollars were seized during the raid of an illegal gambling operation in Markham, Sept 30, 2020. HANDOUT/York Regional Police

Police have charged dozens of people and seized millions of dollars in cash and assets following a months-long investigation into alleged illegal gambling in Markham.

York Regional Police say 33 people have been charged with more than 70 counts, including alcohol and weapons charges, in an investigation dubbed Project End Game.

Officers also seized more than $1 million in cash and equipment, $1.5 million in alcohol and 11 firearms.

“While the total value of these seizures is significant, this is only the start of our efforts to dismantle organized crime groups who are operating illegal gaming operations in York Region,” Chief Jim MacSween explained in a statement on Wednesday.

“The money moving through these underground casinos leads to huge profits for criminals that fund other ventures such as prostitution and drug trafficking.”

They’ve also “restrained” a 20,000-square foot mansion in Markham worth $9 million.

A complete list of the 33 people charged, and the charges they face, can be found here.

Police say this was a “high end” operation where gamblers had access to accommodations, spa treatments, gourmet food, and alcohol.

Authorities say human sex trafficking is also suspected and is under investigation.