Illegal Casinos Operate Out of San Jose Neighborhoods, Sources Say

An illegal casino allegedly operating out of a South Bay garage is one of many, sources told NBC Bay Area.

San Jose police uncovered a garage filled with working slot machines during a recent raid on a home on South Capitol Avenue, near James Lick High School, according to police. Police arrested six people for drugs and outstanding warrants.

Neighbors told NBC Bay Area they’re shocked – but at the same time not surprised – at what was allegedly happening next door.

Phillip Lau owns an auto parts store next to the home on South Capitol. “I don’t know how they got away with it for so long,” said Lau, who said he had wondered why there were so many people coming and going from the home, some even asking him for change.

“Every half an hour they want to come and change money,” Lau said. “I said, ‘No, this is a running business. I cannot do changing all day long, so I kicked them out.”

Lau said parking stalls meant for his business’s customers were constantly being taken up by people going inside the alleged casino. He said, tired of the crime in this area, Lau’s family plans to move their business in three months.

San Jose police say the investigation into the home on South Capitol Avenue had been going on for at least a few weeks. Each slot machine could generate up to $1,000 a week for the operators, authorities said.

Attempts by NBC Bay Area to contact someone at the alleged casino were not successful. Someone inside opened the curtains, but no one answered the door.

Sources tell NBC Bay Area these types of neighborhood casinos are becoming more common, with two other known cases in the Evergreen area.

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