Gambling Ring

What is a Gambling Ring?

A gambling ring is an illegal or unlicensed gambling operation. Gambling rings tend to establish themselves in regions where gambling is illegal, though illegal gambling can also take place alongside legal operations – such as a back room in a licensed casino which takes bets off the books.

Gambling rings might engage in casino or card gaming, run illegal slot machines, or take bets on sports and entertainment events.

Gambling Ring Explained

The term ‘gambling ring’ refers to a gambling operation that takes place outside of the law. Gambling rings are unlicensed and unregulated, and often operated as part of a wider criminal organization. However, they often appear to be legitimate gaming businesses, and players might be unaware that they are playing at an illegal venue or website. Some gambling rings are highly secretive and run a members-only policy, to avoid detection by the authorities.

Gambling rings appear across all forms of gambling, from sports betting to poker and blackjack.

Illegal casinos and card rooms are commonly found in states and nations which prohibit gambling, or in places where they can compete with the legal casinos.

There are thousands of illegal gambling rings operating betting websites and casino games via the Internet, and taking bets from all over the world.

Some might even exist inside legal gaming venues. For example, there have been several cases of gambling rings operating private games inside rented hotel suites at licensed casinos. Others may create their own premises, perhaps using a legal business as a front for the illegal gaming.

Unlike licensed casinos, gambling rings often offer credit to players – with high interest rates, and physical threats or violence towards those who cannot pay their debts.

Those running illegal games might prey on unsuspecting punters or target vulnerable players. When playing with an illegal gambling ring, there is no protection or the player from the regulators or lawmakers. If a gambling ring cheats the player, there is not much that can be done about it!


To avoid playing at dodgy casinos – check out our safe casinos guide.

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