Minnesota Man's 'Innovative' Gambling Scheme Busted: Using TikTok for Illegal Betting Operations Lands Blake Carl Fitzgerald in Hot Water

In a surprising turn of events, a Minnesota man named Blake Carl Fitzgerald, aged 40, found himself in hot water this week after being arrested on accusations of orchestrating an illicit gambling operation through TikTok. The unconventional scheme involved Fitzgerald making bets on behalf of others, ultimately leading to his downfall.

Fitzgerald faced the music as he was charged with three counts of running an illegal gambling operation, a serious offense that could potentially see him behind bars for up to three years. Additionally, if convicted, he might be ordered to pay hefty fines amounting to thousands of dollars, a sharp wakeup call for his alleged misdeeds.

The intricate plan unfolded as Fitzgerald navigated the gaming flors of two local casinos, namely Mystic Lake Casino Hotel and Treasure Island Resort & Casino. Acting as a proxy for over 100 participants, he indulged in playing slot machines on their behalf. Participants would commission him to play specific slots, and Fitzgerald would execute the bets accordingly, all the while amassing a considerable sum in payments.

Prosecutors revealed that Fitzgerald received a grand total of $65,103.50 in Venmo and CashApp payments between October and December 2022, under the guise of "donations" or "deposits." Court documents indicated that Fitzgerald employed a subscription-based model, collecting $5.99 from each follower to grant them access to a private messaging group via the Discord application, where he would represent them in betting activities until their subscription expired.

For an additional fee of $5.99, participants could renew their subscription, a tantalizing offer that seemed too good to pass up for some. Fitzgerald exuded a sense of legitimacy by promising to refund payments in case he ran out of time to place bets, creating an illusion of customer service and trustworthiness.

However, as the scheme unraveled, it became apparent that Fitzgerald was not as altruistic as he appeared. Despite his attempts to present a veneer of transparency by live-streaming the process over TikTok and facilitating money transfers, the gig was up when a tip-off to the Minnesota Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division sparked an investigation leading to charges against him and another suspect.

With the case now in the hands of prosecutors at the Scott County Court, Fitzgerald's ingenious yet fraudulent gambling operation serves as a cautionary tale, highlighting the dangers of exploiting social media platforms for illicit activities. The story of Blake Carl Fitzgerald sheds light on the fine line between innovation and criminality, ultimately emphasizing the importance of upholding legal and ethical standards in all endeavors.