Family members among 9 charged in Philadelphia gambling bust

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Family members among 9 charged in Philly gambling bust. Gray Hall reports during Action News at 4pm on October 20, 2017.

Several members of the same family were among those arrested in an alleged illegal gambling ring in Philadelphia.

Investigators say the family was creating illegal lottery games, where people could bet small in hopes of winning big.

But they say the ones who pocketed the most money were the family members who ran the scheme.

"All of the defendants have been arrested, and if convicted each defendant could receive up to 65 years of incarceration," said District Attorney Kelley Hodge.

Hodge says the takedown of one of the largest illegal street lottery organizations in Philadelphia took 20 years. She says the operation was run by Gary Creagh Sr. and eight others, including Creagh's daughter, son, and nephew.

"The illegal Creagh organization was a truly a family affair, one that generated millions of dollars from dozens of locations across the city of Philadelphia," said Hodge.

Over the years, authorities say the Creagh family generated enough wealth to live a lavish lifestyle. The money paid for pricey cars and expensive homes in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Florida, and Nevada.

Investigators say Creagh employed dozens of people and operated in about 40 locations throughout the city, typically in low-income neighborhoods.

The district attorney says players illegally bet on the numbers from Pennsylvania's daily lottery drawings, the big four lottery drawings, and horse races.

"Players could cast bets between 10 cents and $20, depending on the game, and Creagh paid winners a greater value for the winning numbers: 700-1 compared to Commonwealth's legal lottery that pays 500-1," said Hodge.

The District Attorney says the reason the arrest took so long is that Creagh was well-insulated and the operations were highly organized and located in unmarked buildings.

Detectives conducted undercover and surveillance operations at numerous betting locations and say they all led back to Creagh.

Creagh's attorney told Action News that his client is a "nice guy with a nice family," and he looks forward to facing the charges and coming to a resolution.

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