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October 20, 2017

Widespread street gambling ring busted in Philly

Arrests Gambling
 Philadelphia Police Car Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice Staff

A Philadelphia Police Department cruiser.

Philadelphia authorities said Friday they busted a sprawling street gambling ring that operated across the city, generated millions of dollars and took two decades to unravel.

Gary Creagh Sr., 66, is accused of employing dozens of people to run some 40 gambling locations, according to multiple reports. Nine people, including a few of Creagh's family members, were charged in connection with the numbers racket, according to NBC 10.

The ring allegedly offered more options than legal lotteries and reportedly included bets on Pennsylvania's daily number, the Big 4 lottery drawings and designated horse races. Players could cast bets between 10 cents and 20 dollars, and Creagh allegedly paid winners 700-to-1 as opposed to 500-to-1 in Pennsylvania's lottery, WHYY News reported.

Running the racket out of nondescript storefronts in mostly low-income Philly neighborhoods, Creagh allegedly used his profits for big-ticket purchases that included a $2.5 million condo in Miami and a $1.2 million home at the Jersey Shore.

Creagh reportedly faces corrupt organization and conspiracy charges and is being held in Philadelphia jail on $250,000 bail.