Lottery Investigators Arrest Operators of Illegal Scheme
SACRAMENTO – Lottery investigators arrested six people suspected of operating an illegal lottery scheme today in Richmond and San Pablo.
Investigators, working closely with other law enforcement agencies, arrested suspects accused of taking part in an underground lottery scheme that involved selling homemade tickets to customers and using the winning numbers from the California Lottery’s Daily 3 game to determine the winners. The suspects were charged with a felony count of illegal bookmaking.
These types of underground lotteries are illegal, as they have none of the controls of the California Lottery that ensure the game is operating fairly. Additionally, no money is contributed to the Lottery’s beneficiary, California public schools.
“We warn all of our customers to avoid playing in any underground lottery,” said Lottery Director Joan Borucki. “These schemes can confuse our customers and detract from our mission, which is to maximize supplemental funding for education.”
The case has been developed and pursued by investigators from the Lottery’s Security and Law Enforcement Division – one of the largest and most aggressive in the nation – with help from other law enforcement agencies, including the San Pablo Police Department, the state Department of Justice, the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office and the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office.
These arrests follow an operation last month that involved serving search warrants at four retail stores in San Pablo and Richmond to gather evidence about the underground lottery scheme.
The California Lottery reminds players to only purchase Lottery products from the 21,000 California Lottery retailers. Players can protect themselves from fraud by signing their tickets immediately after purchasing them and to never cash or claim a ticket for someone they don’t know. For more consumer protection information, please visit the California Lottery’s Consumer Protection site.
The California Lottery is celebrating 25 years of enhancing education and supporting local communities. More than 94 cents of every Lottery dollar is returned to the community in the form of contributions to education, prizes and retail commissions. Since the Lottery’s inception in 1985, Lottery players have contributed more than $22 billion to California schools, while retailers have earned about $3.8 billion in compensation.