Thursday, April 28, 2011

Chinese gambling parlors getting robbed

From the NY Times:

Clad in black and speaking Chinese, the three men entered a mah-jongg parlor hidden in a building on Hester Street in Chinatown. They pulled out a pistol and a knife and stripped gamblers of more than $5,600, the police said.

A newspaper article about a police raid was posted in the entrance of a building in Flushing, Queens, where a gambling parlor was recently robbed.

Over the next seven weeks, from late February to early April, three more parlors were robbed: one in Chinatown and two in Flushing, Queens. Each was hit by a small group of Chinese-speaking men with firearms — in one case, an assault rifle.

The robbers may have counted on the silence that has long kept these places in the shadows: The gambling is illegal, so owners and bettors are unlikely to report crimes. But in these cases, victims did, opening a peephole into the busy world of underground Chinese gambling and rattling many of those who work and play in it.

Several gamblers in Flushing said two more parlors were robbed this month, though the attacks were not reported to the police. “We’re really scared now,” one player said as he emerged from a secret den. “Now we have to be especially careful.”

The parlors are tucked in basements or upstairs in warrenlike office buildings, places where a steady stream of players can go unnoticed in the commotion of everyday traffic, say gamblers and others in the Chinese community. Some games take place in private apartments, with paper covering the windows or shades pulled tight, or in the backrooms of community associations.

Because operators frequently shift locations to avoid police detection, it is unclear — to the authorities as well as to those who work there — how many parlors there are.

But the police, familiar with the business for generations, said they were surprised by the sudden rash of armed invasions.

10 comments:

Georges said...

It sounds like John Gotti would have been an admirer of these operations on both sides - running the games and holding them up. Gambling is illegal right? I guess the girls are in the next room with the opium waiting for the winners to spend some time with them?

Schnurr said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ambidexter said...

why are we worried about this?

They are all violating the law

Jerry Rotondi said...

From "Casdablanca":

"I'm shocked, shocked to know that gambling has been going on in here" (and in Flushing too)!

More uncollected taxes from an underground economy which has been operating under the very noses of our community board!

Jerry Rotondi said...

A minor key stroke error:

Please omit the "d" in Casablanca.

Anonymous said...

Hey...do the Chuck & Gene gang get to skim a percentage off these gambling joints' profits?

Or were they the guys dressed in black wearing the masks robbing those places?

Easy to spot Gene's profile even in a black spandex outfit (LOL)!

Patrolman Mah Jong said...

Maybe it's a couple of my fellow 109th precinct's Asian officers who weren't satisfied with their "take" and took to robbing these Flushing gambling dens.

Anonymous said...

Now what about all those whore houses that the 109th PCT "doesn't know about"...h-m-m-m-m?

Maybe Myra Hersh's Flushing Chamber Pot & Business Ass'n. could shed some light on this.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the Meng/Stavisky team should publish a merchant/customer guide to all the illicit dens that flourish in Floo-shing in 5 different languages!

Like print a general tourist guide for the US Open match attenders... informing them as to the best places in which to lose your shirt at Mah Jong, get a kwik fuk, score opium, obtain forged documents, buy counterfeit goods, etc.

Calling Terri Osborne!

Ace of Whores said...

Ya gotta know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em. I like to hold 'em. Check out my ad in this week's Queens Tribune.