25-year-old Fargo woman receives 5 years in prison for illegal video game tournaments

April 1st, 2015 | by Nick

25-year-old Fargo woman receives 5 years in prison for illegal video game tournaments

Fargo, ND – An afternoon filled with fun and games took turn for the weird when Bismarck police raided the home of Ivana Mann who was charged with illegal video game operations.

Mann regularly hosts unofficial League of Legends LAN tournaments in her home with prize pots ranging from $900 to $2,500. According to the police, Mann’s business is illegal because it’s neither registered nor paying proper taxes to the government. According to police, Mann charges $50 – $100 for her tournaments’ registration fee.

Mann’s friends remember Ivana saying that she had an argument with one of the sons of Police Chief Neil Down from the Bismarck Police Department. According to them, Down’s son is the reason for the crackdown.

“Mr. Down’s son, Gary, is a regular of Ivana’s tournaments,” said witness Samuel Harris. “When he repeatedly loss against one of the teams last week, he got really mad and threatened Ivana that he would tell his dad about her underground tournaments unless she returned to him his registration money.”

Chief Down, however, denied allegations of her son being involved in Ivana’s illegal gaming tournaments.

“My son is innocent,” told Chief Down to FM Observer. “Last week, he asked me for extra money to buy a book for school called The Elder Scrolls. How can someone so absorbed into learning be involved in an illegal gaming operation?”

Apart from facing jail time, Mann was fined with $250,000. Sources say that she was offered a shorter jail sentence on the condition that she tells authorities who her business partners were. However, Mann kept her mouth shut. Her lawyer, Gabin Wilson, was disappointed that she didn’t take the offer given by the prosecution.

Video game related issues have been a problem for the Bismarck Police Department for decades. However, the quandary that the police usually face is of addiction and not illegal gaming operations. Compared to online casino providers that have a responsible gaming feature, games played on the PC and console do not have a 24/7 support program. Entertainment hub Spin Genie defines Responsible Gaming as a service that gives players a chance to exclude themselves from gaming if they think they’re developing an addiction. Because of the Mann fiasco, some Fargo parents are actually starting a fundraiser for the rehabilitation of people with video gaming addiction.

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