Pennsylvania Family Sentenced Over Illegal Gaming

By Ben Hamill - July 15 2020
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Pennsylvania Family Sentenced Over Illegal Gaming

A Pennsylvania family has been sentenced by a US district court judge following their having operated illegal video poker machines for more than four decades. Patriarch Robert Biros (85), son Andrew Biros (54), son John Biros (58), and daughter Christine Biros (57), were each handed down their own respective punishment and fine by Westmoreland County Judge Meagan Bilik-DeFazio. All four members of the Biros family had reportedly been involved in the illegal distribution and operation of at least 100 video poker machines at pubs, social clubs, taverns and truck stops in the White Oak and North Huntington areas.

Family patriarch Robert, who had reportedly been running the family’s illegal gambling operation ever since the 70s, was sentenced by Judge DeFazio to six months served on probation. Biros’ three offspring were each slapped with a $300 fine.

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Cash & Equipment Surrendered

Along with the sentencing on probation and the fines, the family also agreed to surrender the illegal machines to the state of Pennsylvania. The cash found inside the machines was also surrendered. The family agreed to forfeit the illegal gaming machines and cash as part of a plea bargain with the police and court.

In addition to the cash discovered in the machines, the clan also agreed to hand over some of the ill-begotten funds gained as a direct result of the operation, which ultimately came to an amount of $144,000 in cash confiscated at the Biros-residence.

Court officials eventually agreed that the family be allowed to hold on to $20,000 of the money seized by police at their home.

No Control Over Illegal Machines

The plea bargain between the family and the state furthermore involved all 3 Biros children pleading guilty to a charge of “disorderly conduct” related to the illegal gaming and entertainment market. They were shortly after having been brought to task by police in 2018 described by Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro as a family who had for decades long benefited from having raked in literally millions of dollars in illegal funds from their wayward black-market gaming endeavours.

Even though gambling is permitted in Pennsylvania, the illegal running of unlicensed gaming machines isn’t. The problem with unregulated gaming machines such as those operated by the Biros family, said Chief Deputy Attorney General Mark Serge, is that these, unlike those operated by licensed casinos, can be manipulated in such a way that they hardly ever pay out. Since illegal machines aren’t regulated, there is absolutely no control or fairness.

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