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North Carolina Businesses Raided Because of Video Poker Machines

On June 29, 2007, an ongoing investigation regarding illegal video poker operations in 2 counties resulted in police officers confiscating records and video poker machines.

Federal Agents have investigated at least 8 businesses in Buncombe and Madison counties where the records and the video machines were confiscated. The month long probe into the unlawful video gambling operations in the area resulted in the police's recovery of $2 million.

The police officers also closed down an underground casino facility. Current rules allow players to take home at least $10 in merchandise but no form of cash prizes is allowed. The police investigation reported that the illegal gaming operations were paying their players $60 and $90.

In a separate investigation, the police officers in Randolph County apprehended a man for managing and operating 5 video poker machines. 56 year-old Edward Marion from Randleman was arrested on several charges by police officers because of the machines.

He was only released after he posted $1,500 bail. North Carolina has been removing the video poker machines slowly and starting on July 1, 2007, it will be a misdemeanor charge to play poker on one.

There were 10,000 legal video poker machines in North Carolina when they were allowed in 2000. But local officials said that they did not know how many of the video poker machines exist today in North Carolina.

The Director of the State Alcohol Law Enforcement Agency, Mike Robertson, said that nobody could give the exact count of the machines because video poker machines are never recorded. He said that declaring the machines unlawful could result in more underground casinos.


07/09/2007, Monday
Todd Sanders

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