Two Pennsylvania women are facing charges for creating a Facebook gambling group.
According to WJAC, Brittany Winings, 32, of Northern Cambria, and Tiffany Dupas, 26 of Hastings, operated the “BID WIN SAVE” Facebook group. They are now facing various misdemeanor charges by the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation related to having gambling devices, allowing gambling and inviting others to gamble.
Illegal group’s prizes ranged from gift cards to heating oil
Spin the wheel, win a prize. It seems simple, but in Pennsylvania, it is illegal. Games of chance are illegal unless conducted by a not-for-profit organization. Or, of course, through one of many legal PA online gambling options.
The premise of “Bid Win Save,” according to WJAC and the Pennsylvania State Police, was that once a set number of paid spots were filled, the wheel was “spun” and a winner declared.
PennLive reported the women pulled in between $40-$60 for each post. Like some other Facebook groups, they incentivized group members to invite others to join. Winings and Dupas received a combined total of $81,507 in payments via PayPal between May and July 2019. The group had over 2,000 members. It is no longer active on Facebook.
Winings and Dupas created the group in May 2019. It had prizes which included cash and the following:
- Lottery tickets
- Gift cards
- Kitchen supplies
- Heating oil
PA state police nab the perps
The Cambria County women received more than friend requests.
According to the criminal complaint, the PA Bureau of Liquor Control tipped off the PSP about an illegal social media lottery/gambling group. Troopers then received screenshots from “Bid Win Save” and various complaints about bidding off prizes to those who paid for bidding spots.
The Indiana Gazette reported BCI Trooper Matthew Cornetti filed a criminal complaint with Hastings Magisterial District Judge Michael Zungali. Cornetti interviewed the women in November and December and said, “Both admitted to administering (the) ‘Bid Win Save’ Facebook group and making a profit by doing so.”
The two women have been summoned to appear before Judge Zungali on March 3. In addition to the various misdemeanor counts, both women also face summary counts of disorderly conduct.