In the south of France, three people were reportedly arrested in the resort city of Cannes over the weekend on allegations that they have been illegally running or participating in high-stakes games of poker at the area’s 3.14 Casino.
According to a Thursday report from G3Newswire, those arrested as part of a raid by a specialist unit from the Service Central des Courses et Jeux (SCCJ) regulator inside the opulent casino included Gregory Emsalem and Benjamin Abou, Managing Director and President respectively for 3.14 Casino, while a further four suspects were purportedly detained in the neighboring city of Nice.
Owned by Groupe Partouche, 3.14 Casino opened in June after its license was transferred from the Paris-headquartered firm’s nearby Palm Beach Casino with the gambling venue now sitting in one of the busiest parts of the historic port city. Authorities reportedly conducted an 18-month investigation utilizing video surveillance at both properties that allegedly uncovered poker games on offer with stakes some 20 times higher than were being officially declared.
Officials from the SCCJ reportedly alleged that these high-stakes games of poker took place in private rooms inside 3.14 Casino and resulted in revenues being under-reported to the tune of about €1.5 million (US$1.8 million) with an associated tax shortfall of around €750,000 (US$921,300).
G3Newswire reported that the illicit VIP operation inside 3.14 Casino had apparently been designed to cater for the needs of wealthy individuals from Paris with the raid allegedly discovering some eleven players enjoying high-stakes games at a pair of tables.
For its part, Groupe Partouch reportedly responded to the action by stating that it had ‘no knowledge at present of the facts alleged’ with 3.14 Casino remaining open. The operator, which has recently been lobbying for the right to open a new casino in Paris, purportedly further declared that it was ‘in compliance with the law’ and had always paid special attention to ‘gambling regulation and the fight against money laundering’.