“Dino the Casino” Pleads Guilty to Operating Illegal Gambling Business and Cocaine Distribution Had Slot Machines in Shops from Sacramento to Bakersfield

SACRAMENTO — On May 18, 2017, following an investigation by the California Department of Justice – Bureau of Gambling Control and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Nive Hagay, 31, of Los Angeles, who is also known as “Dino the Casino”, pleaded guilty to conducting an illegal gambling business and cocaine distribution.

“California has very strict gambling regulations.  California DOJ special agents in the Bureau of Gambling Control investigate illegal gambling schemes and have no problem joining forces with other law enforcement agencies,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona.  “When agencies work together they are even more effective in solving cases, making arrests, and seeing it through prosecution.”

According to court documents, between 2008 and November 2016, Hagay, Casino,” placed video slot machines in small businesses, such as smoke shops and convenience stores,  in Bakersfield, Ceres, Delano, Fresno, Lamont, Lodi, Modesto, and Sacramento. These machines allegedly generated an estimated $1.9 million in cash per year.  Hagay laundered the  proceeds from the illegal gambling business through clothing companies in Los Angeles, and made large purchases with the cash proceeds, such as a $202,000 cash transaction for a 2014 Audi R8. Hagay also pleaded guilty to distributing cocaine.

On October 15, 2016, at a smoke shop in Sacramento, Hagay sold approximately one ounce of a mixture that tested positively for cocaine. The sale was recorded, and in the video, Hagay is seen pulling the bag of the substance from his pocket and taking the resulting money. In the recording, he discusses the quality of the cocaine, describes where he got it and offers to get more and of higher quality in the future.

As a part of his plea agreement, Hagay has agreed to forfeit assets acquired from proceeds of the illegal gambling business, including a 2010 Aston Martin Rapide, a 2016 Mercedes Benz AMG GT, several Ducati motorcycles, hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash seized from his home, the illegal slot machines, and various bank accounts.

Hagay is scheduled to be sentenced on August 24, 2017. He faces a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the illegal gambling offense and 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine for the cocaine distribution charge.

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