It is a lambda apartment in the 13th arrondissement offered, like thousands of others in Paris, for rent on Internet platforms.
Saturday evening, convinced for several months that a team was organizing illegal poker games, about fifteen police officers from the Service Central des Courses et Jeux (SCCJ) invaded the premises and discovered a veritable clandestine gaming room.
“Everything was clean, underlines a source close to the investigation.
The organizers did that well to remind players of the comfort of playing circles. ”Around the table, ten players and more than 3000 euros in cash.
Proof of the seriousness of the parties organized clandestinely, the one who gave the cards is… professional croupier stationed in a legal establishment.
In addition to this young woman, three men aged 25 to 31 were referred on Monday.
The players are not prosecuted.
Last November, the Parisian PJ police got a tip: every Friday and Saturday evening, poker lovers would meet in the south of Paris to play for money.
The closure of gambling clubs due to health measures, the recent obligation to present valid papers to play in the capital or the ban on smoking in gambling halls, thus seems to have made some card lovers want to bend the rules.
Players notified of the games on social networks
But unlike many clandestine gambling dens that are held in the back room of bars, the organizers of this clandestine party have innovated.
“They rented an apartment on Internet platforms, underlines a source close to the investigation.
This made it possible to change places every weekend and not to arouse suspicion.
»Frequent in cases of prostitution or clandestine parties, this recourse to lodgings rented for a few days is a first in the context of an illegal gambling case.
The organizers were in charge of transforming the apartment into a game room, bringing the cards, the playing table or the tokens ...
A few hours before the game, players were warned on social networks.
Some regulars were even alerted during the game that a lucky player had just left his place at the table.
For weeks, their ballet was watched by investigators.
Saturday night, the SCCJ police take action.
A croupier and a suspected organizer are taken into custody.
On Sunday morning, three other people responsible for logistics or renting apartments are arrested.
On their bank accounts, the police discovered more than 30,000 euros, proof of the lucrative nature of the parties.
Four of the organizers will soon be judged for "carrying out and organizing operations involving prohibited games of chance or money in an organized gang", specifies the Paris prosecutor's office.