More than two dozen people who were caught during a raid on a Curé Labelle Blvd. gambling hall last Sunday by the Laval Police will be paying at least $40,000 in fines after receiving tickets for gathering illegally and breaking COVID-19 sanitary and distancing rules.
Following the sweep, the LPD said it had been tipped off that an all-day and evening blackjack and poker event was going to be held at the strip mall location.
A spokesperson for the force said the LPD was already aware of the event, since it had been well-advertised on social media.
After surveying the layout of the locale Sunday morning after 10 am, and seeing that at least 20 people were present, the LPD obtained a warrant and made their move around mid-afternoon.
In all, 26 people were seen not wearing protective face masks, as required by COVID-19 sanitation rules, while social distancing requirements also weren’t being respected.
Each offender received a ticket for $1,550 (including court costs).
Further charges are pending with Quebec’s Director of Criminal and Penal Prosecutions, depending on whether any of those who were issued tickets were previously ticketed for violating the same rules.
According to the LPD, people living near the mall tipped off the police after seeing an unusually large number of cars parked in the parking lot, when businesses were closed because of the pandemic.
An LPD spokesperson said the locale was already known to police for illicit activities and that officers had visited the premises previously.
Since sponsoring an unlicensed gambling event is a violation of the criminal code, the LPD has opened an investigation and additional charges may be forthcoming.