Illegal Horse Racing

Agents in October search a Burbank ranch suspected of being involved in illegal horse racing.

An investigation into illegal horse racing in rural Walla Walla County is continuing, and as many as six people could face felony charges, the state Gambling Commission said Friday.

Suspects’ names and the specific ranch location are not being made public, pending a charging decision by the Walla Walla County Prosecuting Attorney, a news release from the state agency said.

The investigation has been ongoing for over two years. Agents gathered information in October that a ranch near Burbank was allegedly being used for horse racing that included illegal wagering and other suspected illegal gambling on site, the release said.

The Gambling Commission’s investigation into the illegal activity began in early January 2019 after a tip from another agency about alleged illegal horse racing and gambling at the location.

An undercover special agent attended events to gather information for the search warrant that was served on site in October, the release said.

Organizers at the ranch held monthly matches between horses. Most were from Washington and Oregon, with some coming from other western states as racing information was often posted to social media accounts.

Wagers were made with the organization and between people attending the races, according to the release.

Raffles offered primarily small-scale prizes, but some raffles awarded horses and cars to winners, the agency said.

Emily Solomon can be reached at emilysolomon@wwub.com.

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