Industry Reports

Police Raids Illegal Gambling House in Sheshatshiu Community

An illegal gaming house situated in Sheshatshiu has been closed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). According to a press release, a search warrant on a property in the Innu Federal Reserve in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador on September 28th. The raid took place following an investigation into reports they had previously received.

Corporal Rick Mills with the Happy Valley-Goose Bay detachment revealed that about a week ago, several community members informed the RCMP in Newfoundland and Labrador about an allegedly illegal gambling house being run on site. As a result of the reports, an investigation was launched and it all ended in a police raid of the gaming house.

A shed adjacent to a Sheshatshiu residential property was searched on September 28th and eventually, the police seized eleven Video Lottery Terminals (VLTs), one bingo device, as well as an automated teller machine (ATM) and a number of other items. According to police reports, no indications that alcohol was sold out or consumed in the shed were found.

Corporal Mills explained that what they found was “basically a gaming house”. He further shared that there is still an ongoing investigation and charges are set to be laid against a man who lives in the Sheshatshiu community. As explained by Mills, a number of charges could be laid against the man, including operating an illegal gaming house, operating video lottery terminals without a license, and some other charges related to the Lotteries Act of the Newfoundland and Labrador province.

Community Helped Police with Information about Illegal Gambling House

No further details were given by the RCMP in terms of the results of the investigation or the charges which are expected to be laid. The man who is probably to face the afore-mentioned allegations is the owner of the shed that was searched by the police.

It also became clear that local police are working in collaboration with the Innu Band Council and the Atlantic Lottery Corporation. Still, Corporal Mills was unable to provide more details or an expected timeframe for possible arrests. Moreover, currently, the Sheshatshiu Band council also has a bylaw regarding gambling in the local community, so the owner of the alleged illegal gambling house could also be imposed a monetary penalty by the Council, too. According to the bylaw of the Sheshatshiu band council, gambling activities are banned from the community boundaries for the time being.

As revealed by Corporal Mills, the investigation would continue, with additional interviews with people who are suspected to have used the shed for gambling activities within the community. He further explained that local people have been very helpful over the investigation, as it was the information provided by them which led to police actions against the illegal operation.