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Southern California casino raided by federal authorities

Gamblers at the Bicycle Hotel & Casino in Bell Gardens, California, were told to leave on Tuesday morning by federal investigators, who were there as part of a probe into money laundering, law enforcement officials told the Los Angeles Times.

The operation lasted all day, and thousands of financial records were seized during the raid, which was led by members of the Los Angeles High Intensity Financial Crime Area Task Force. The focus of the investigation is on people who bring laundered funds to the casino, place bets with the dirty money, and exchange their chips for clean money, the Times reports.

A spokeswoman for the casino said it will reopen at 3 a.m. on Wednesday. Several people, including employees and regulars, watched from afar as investigators, including officers from the IRS and ICE, brought out evidence. Many told the Times about their losses at the casino, and how they thought the investigation had to have something to do with a rigged gaming system (this does not appear to be the focus). One player told the paper he plays Pai Gow at the casino "every day" and always loses, so he wasn't surprised to see law enforcement there. "Let's put it like this," he said. "Gambling is a game of luck. I consider myself a lucky person. But you can never win at the Bicycle."