Across the United States, the laws regarding poker gaming will vary. For some states, you can play online as well as in land based casinos. In others, you can play in your home for money as long as a rake is not paid to the house. Because the rules vary, it is important to know that when you play poker in a state, that you are doing so legally. Of course, illegal operations take place regularly, and it’s important to avoid any illegal games at all times. The most recent instance of illegal poker gaming comes from Brooklyn, where an underground poker game operator is now facing a year in prison for his crimes.
Earlier this week, a federal judge sentenced Isok Aronova, a 33 year old man, to one year in prison based on an underground poker operation in Brooklyn. Aronov was one of nine people involved in the case who first faced charges back in November. Crimes included in the indictment are extortion, drug trafficking, racketeering and loansharking.
According to the United States Department of Justice, the games were being operated by an organized crime syndicate of Eastern Europe. According to multiple news reports, Aronov was reportedly using violence threats to recover debts that individuals owed from playing the underground games. According to federal agents, the wagers in such poker games, the stack sizes were in the six figure range, as high as $150,000.
Aronov could have spent as many as 20 years in prison due to being involved in the illegal poker operation. However, he now has to spend just one year in prison. A separate indictment was produced this past August, which included several of the individuals charged last year, as some were involved in burning a building that hosted a rival, illegal poker game.
This is just one of several instances in which poker is offered in an illegal setting and law enforcement steps in after a long period of investigation.