DENVER — A Denver-area couple was arraigned on 370 criminal charges related to an alleged illegal gambling operation on Thursday.
According to the Denver District Attorney’s Office, 39-year-old Bagrat Garamov is charged with 198 criminal counts, including multiple felony charges of “slot machines – shipping violations.” Misdemeanor counts include: engaging in professional gambling, fraudulent limited gaming acts, possession of gambling devices and maintaining a gambling premises.
His wife, 34-year-old Tammy Garamov, faces similar charges but fewer counts with 172 listed on court records.
The initial criminal investigation was launched as a direct result of a FOX31 Problem Solvers undercover operation into adult video arcades known as “skill games.”
FOX31 located at least three metro-area businesses owned or operated by the Garamov’s: American Pride Skill Games on East Dartmouth Avenue, El Dorado Skill Games on Sheridan Boulevard, and La Fortuna Skill Arcade on South Federal Boulevard.
Hidden-camera recordings showed rooms full of machines resembling video slot machines. Some players were able to manipulate the images on the slot wheels to win thousands of dollars, paid in cash. None of the machines or gaming businesses were licensed, according to the city of Denver, the Colorado Secretary of State and the Department of Revenue’s Gaming Division.
After learning of the FOX31 investigation, the Denver vice squad conducted their own independent investigation. That investigation resulted in raids on the Garamovs’ establishments and the seizure of dozens of machines last fall.
Through their attorney, the Garamovs pleaded not guilty and plan to mount a defense based on recent alterations of Colorado gaming laws.AlertMe