MOSCOW, Jan. 14 (UPI) -- Moscow police raided an illegal gambling lair across the street from the Foreign Ministry Friday, authorities said.
About 80 gamblers and casino operators were taken by surprise when heavily armed, black-clad officers barged in, police spokeswoman Yelena Perfilova told RIA Novosti.
She said the casino was hidden behind a second-floor kitchen in a hotel across from the ministry building. Police "seized 13 poker tables, four roulette wheels, 17 slot-machines, 50,000 gambling chips and 2,000 decks of cards," Perfilova said.
Illegal casinos have proliferated in Russia since a July 2009 law banned gambling except in four remote zones.