Saw this in the paper today... silly guys got busted because they were taking a rake... Twelve charged in Edmonton gaming house raid Edmonton Journal Published: Thursday, March 16, 2006 It could have been a scene from Guys and Dolls! Police and gaming officials shut down a gambling house near downtown Edmonton Wednesday night and arrested its occupants following an undercover investigation into illegal poker games. Three people have been charged with operating an illegal gaming house at 10580 116 St. and nine have been charged with playing poker or being inside the gaming house. An investigation team from the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission, assisted by city police, raided the house as a result of an undercover investigation that began in September. Although a raid on a poker may seem like a throwback to earlier times, an Alberta Gaming spokeswoman says there have been a few in recent years. “It does happen,” said Robyn Cochrane. “I don’t know if we’re seeing more now. Often, our investigations involve illegal bookmaking. But gaming houses are a concern as well.” She added an earlier raid on a gaming house in Medicine Hat is currently before the courts. Under the Criminal Code, gambling is legal only if it is licenced by the provincial government and the proceeds go to charities. Gambling includes card and dice games, slot machines and video-lottery terminals, lotteries, raffles and pull tickets. Any gaming not operated or licensed by the province is illegal. Illegal gaming includes bookmaking and operating a common gaming house, which takes a rake from unlicensed casino games such as poker, blackjack and baccarat. Poker games in private residences or clubs are legal as long as the homeowner or organizer of the games are not profiting. “Stopping illegal gaming is important because these illegal activities take money away from Alberta charities,” said Lou Hudon, director of investigations for Alberta Gaming. "Playing poker in private homes or clubs is not illegal unless the house or the group hosting the poker game profits from the game. It is the commercial aspect of the game that contravenes criminal law." Those charged in Wednesday’s raid are scheduled to appear in court April 26. Penalties vary but can range from fines to imprisonment. The Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission established the gaming investigation team in 2001 to combat illegal gaming and other gambling-related crimes. The team is made up of Alberta Gaming investigators, police forces and other government ministries. Last year, the team worked on 52 investigations around the province and laid a total of 11 criminal charges. These investigations focus on the more serious commercial gaming operations including bookmaking, gaming houses and illegal lotteries.