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Whoever Disguised This Gambling Den as a Zumba Studio Should've Tried Harder

Slapping "ZUM BA DANC" in hot pink letters on a strip mall door wasn't enough to keep the cops from raiding the place.
Drew Schwartz
Brooklyn, US
Photo via the Harris County Constable / Facebook

The idea of an illegal casino usually calls to mind some shady warehouse filled with high rollers, cigar smoke, and ritzy cocktails, or maybe a tightly-patrolled, Michael Clayton-esque hovel tucked into some city alleyway. If you're looking to run a den of iniquity right under the cops' noses, the very least you could do is find a cunning way to disguise it—a crucial first step one illegal gambling room in Texas apparently skipped before opening up anyway.


Last week, police raided a betting house masquerading as a Zumba studio in a Houston strip mall, local ABC affiliate KTRK reports. Instead of, say, putting up a few posters of suburban moms in neon workout clothes, or even just investing in an actual sign, whoever ran the joint did the absolute bare minimum they could to disguise it.

All photos via the Harris County Constable / Facebook

If any curious Houstonian hoping to get in a fun, upbeat workout to Jason Derulo or whatever had actually walked into the place, it'd take about half a second to realize no one was going to teach them how turn a squat thrust into a dance move. There was no front desk, no full-length mirrors, no vibrantly dressed instructor all hopped up on endorphins. Instead, the place was packed wall-to-wall with bootleg slot machines.

The closest thing to a class schedule was a poster with the word bonos (bonds) hand-scrawled at the top, listing a few hourly specials for the joint's big spenders.

Understandably, the cops saw right through the ruse. They stormed the joint last Wednesday, seizing thousands of dollars in cash, confiscating 40 motherboards from the illegal machines, and arresting one lonely gambler inside, according to the Harris County Constable Precinct 5's Facebook page.

There's no word on exactly how the cops found out something fishy was up with the bogus dance studio, but the bars on all the windows probably didn't do the place any favors. Who knows—maybe if the person who ran it remembered to slap an E at the end of "ZUM BA DANC," it'd still be in business.

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