Illegal Minnesota TikTok Gambling Ring Operator Hit With New Charges


  • Fitzgerald is facing a felony charge and could go to prison
  • The men required a $5.99 subscription and took $25 for every $100 deposited 
  • Fitzgerald and Mattison would live-stream themselves playing slot machines with viewers’ money

A man in Minnesota was hit on Monday with additional charges for violating gambling laws while running a TikTok-based gambling ring.

Blake C. Fitzgerald, 40, live-streamed himself playing slot machines for gamblers who paid in advance. He was handed one felony charge in addition to three gross misdemeanor charges for instructing his viewers to break gambling laws.

Fitzgerald’s brother, Christopher J. Mattison, 34, was also charged Monday with one gross misdemeanor count for his involvement in the scheme.

A growing list of charges 

The new complaint filed in Goodhue County claims the Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division reached out to Fitzgerald and Mattison in June regarding their original charges. It also says that Mattison denied the charges, while Fitzgerald went silent shortly after the initial correspondence.

The TikTok gambler was originally charged with the three misdemeanors in August after investigators became privy to his actions inside various Minnesota casinos.

According to law enforcement, Fitzgerald ran a remote bookmaking business for at least four months until January 2023. He frequented Mystic Lake Casino in Prior Lake and Treasure Island Resort & Casino in Goodhue County until his actions were noticed by casino security, and he was banned.

A search warrant affidavit revealed that Fitzgerald used online banking services to obtain a $5.99 subscription fee from his clients. He also took $25 from every $100 they deposited, and he would spend the remaining $75 gambling and live-streaming the process.

Minnesota law prohibits anyone from placing bets on behalf of another person.

Fitzgerald accumulated hundreds of thousands of followers on TikTok and had highlights of him hitting as high as a $15,000 jackpot before he was discovered.

If Fitzgerald is convicted of his felony charge, he could serve prison time. The misdemeanor charges all warranted potential jail time or some other form of punishment.

Lots of “donations” 

The new charges detail a portion of the events that the brothers were involved in.

According to the charges, Fitzgerald and Mattison placed bets totaling more than $48,000 on behalf of 81 people in three weeks.

Fitzgerald also received $65,103.50 in CashApp and Venmo payments from October to December 2022, prosecutors said. 

Bettors received roughly one-third of their money in winnings or refunds, the latter if the men did not wager their entire deposit before leaving the casinos. 

Fitzgerald considered the payments “donations” or “deposits.” 

When news of the investigation first broke in January, Minnesota Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division spokesperson Nicole Roddy said that the case was the first of its kind for the agency. 

The American Gaming Association also said that it had not heard of such a situation, and the group’s vice president for government relations, Alex Costello, said the crimes went against casinos’ anti-money laundering rules.

Fitzgerald live-streamed himself on January 12 discussing being removed from the Mystic Lake Casino during an earlier visit. Later that day, he told his followers that he was permanently banned from Treasure Island.

Fitzgerald is due to appear in court on Wednesday. Mattison will appear on Thursday.

Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself in his up-to-the-minute reporting on the latest events in the industry. A member of Virginia Tech’s 2021 graduating class, he has quickly put together an impressive portfolio since moving to the professional world full-time. Grant’s favorite sports to cover are basketball and both types of football (American and soccer), and he is pushing written, audio, and video content. He has been employed by companies as highly regarded as Forbes and continues on a great trajectory in the industry. When he’s not on the clock, you can find Grant at the gym, looking for adventures, or hanging out with his family.