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Mastermind Behind a TikTok and Discord Gambling Scam Exposed

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A complex web of illegal gambling activities conducted via social media platforms has been exposed in Minnesota, leading to charges against the alleged mastermind, Blake Carl Fitzgerald.

The 40-year-old is accused of orchestrating a remote gambling scheme that exploited livestreaming services on TikTok and the communication capabilities of Discord.

Fitzgerald's Exploits Revealed

According to local news outlet Bring Me the News, Fitzgerald operated the illicit operation between October and December of 2022, utilizing the growing popularity of TikTok and Discord to carry out his activities. His modus operandi involved soliciting wagers from subscribers who tuned into his TikTok livestreams and then executing those bets on slot machines at the Lake and Treasure Island land-based casinos.

Fitzgerald's innovative yet illicit approach included a unique twist – he allowed subscribers to dictate their preferred slot machine to wager on during his TikTok livestreams. As viewers watched in anticipation, he would call out the name of the subscriber and play the specified machine, effectively turning his gambling sessions into interactive experiences for his audience.

The Minnesota native's scheme gained traction, reportedly accumulating $65,103 in funds from willing participants via platforms such as CashApp and Venmo. Fitzgerald, in line with his agreement with subscribers, kept more than half of the winnings for himself, disbursing the remainder to his followers. If time constraints prevented him from fulfilling a particular wager, he ensured the money was returned to the subscriber.

To facilitate the operation and maintain direct communication with his subscribers, Fitzgerald charged a subscription fee of $5.99 and employed Discord as the communication hub. The use of this platform allowed him to stay connected with his patrons, perpetuating the gambling scheme.

Mastermind Faces Justice

The illegal gambling ring eventually came to the attention of authorities when an anonymous tip was submitted to the Minnesota Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division. Following an investigation, Fitzgerald was identified as the key player behind the operation, and it was discovered that he had a collaborator whose identity has yet to be disclosed pending formal charges.

Fitzgerald now faces the prospect of significant legal repercussions. He has been charged with three counts related to running an illegal gambling operation, potentially resulting in a prison sentence of up to three years along with substantial fines.

Minnesota's crackdown on illegal gambling comes at a time when the state is grappling with the broader issue of sports betting legalization. While Fitzgerald's illicit activities highlighted the dark underbelly of remote gambling, other recent incidents, including the arrest of individuals involved in illegal casinos and sports betting, underscore the ongoing challenges faced by gaming regulators and law enforcement agencies.

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