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D.A. gets grant to prosecute illegal gambling

The $150,000 grant from the state Gaming Control Board will maintain a special task force.

The District Attorney's Office has received a $150,000 grant from the state Gaming Control Board to prosecute illegal gambling activity.

The grant will maintain the D.A.'s Gaming Control Task Force, which was created in 2008 with a $250,000 grant from the board. It will pay for salaries and related expenses for one prosecutor, detective and law clerk.

The funding is part of money allocated each year for law enforcement from gaming revenue at the state's 10 casinos.

"This money will help us to continue to not only be tough but also smart on crime," District Attorney Seth Williams said today during a press conference. "The crimes associated with illegal gambling have grown over the past few years in Philadelphia, and it is extremely important that we track down those criminals and bring them to justice."

Officials said the task force has prosecuted 10 cases so far and expects more as legalized gaming expands. Initially focused on illegal video and electronic gaming machines, the task force has evolved to prosecute all unlawful gambling.

SugarHouse Casino, located on Delaware Avenue, is the city's only casino. Investors of a second casino – Foxwoods – are challenging the Gaming Control Board's decision to revoke its license for failing to open.