Cops Say Brooklyn Duo Made $10K/Month From Illegal Gambling Machines

Written By David Danzis on February 16, 2022 - Last Updated on February 17, 2022
illegal gambling machines

New Jersey State Police charged two men from New York with operating illegal gambling machines that were allegedly generating up to $10,000 a month.

Daniel Kohan, 31, and Yuriy Yakubov, 34, both of Brooklyn, N.Y., were arrested earlier this month for profiting from illegal “coin pusher” machines at multiple locations in New Jersey, according to the state police.

A “coin pusher” is a Boardwalk-style game with coins or prizes, and dispenses tickets or tokens to winners. Only arcades or Boardwalks with state approval can operate those games.

Both men are charged with possession of a gambling device. Kohan was also charged with money laundering and promoting gambling.

Illegal gambling in NJ convenience stores, you say?

In October, the NJ Division of Consumer Affairs and NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement contacted the NJSP Financial Crimes North Unit. The call was about illegal gambling machines at various convenience stores in Lakewood.

Authorities say the two men from New York placed the illegal gambling machines throughout the state. Kohan later collected the proceeds.

On Feb. 1, the NJSP arrested Yakubov in Wallington after observing him servicing one of the machines inside a convenience store.

Shortly after, Kohen turned himself in at the NJSP Meadowlands Station.

A bigger problem in Pennsylvania

Although not unheard of in New Jersey, illegal gambling machines are pretty rare. However, they are much more prevalent across the river in Pennsylvania.

PlayPennsylvania, a sister site of PlayNJ, has reported extensively about efforts by Keystone State lawmakers to crack down on illegal gambling machines and unregulated casinos.

Public hearings held last summer shed some light on the problem. One state senator, whose district borders Philadelphia, estimated more than 20,000 illegal machines in the district.

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David Danzis

David Danzis is the lead writer for PlayNJ. He is a New Jersey native and honors graduate of Rutgers University. As a newspaper reporter for the New Jersey Herald and Press of Atlantic City, David earned statewide awards for his coverage of politics, government, education, sports, and business. Today, he is PlayNJ’s Atlantic City “insider” and gaming industry expert on casinos, sports betting, and online gambling. David lives in Atlantic County, NJ with his wife and two children.

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