Two North Carolina Businesses Raided for Illegal Casino Gaming

  • The Welcome Business Center and The Fish House were both raided
  • Police found illegal video slots, fish tables, and other games during the operation
  • Investigation began after residents complained to the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office
Sheriff cruiser car with lights on
Two businesses in Davidson County, North Carolina have been busted for operating as sweepstakes casinos. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Sweepstakes casinos busted

Two businesses in Davidson County, North Carolina were raided on Monday after residents reported them to the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office for operating as sweepstakes casinos.

The Davidson County Sheriff’s Office supplied deputies to help with the bust. The North Carolina Department of Alcohol Law Enforcement also assisted.

Money, video slot machines, fish table video games, and computer equipment was seized during the raids. No arrests were made.

Raids followed complaints

The Welcome Business Center in Welcome and The Fish House in Thomasville were the businesses raided on Monday.

several residents alerted the local Sheriff’s Office of the illegal operations

The raids were a result of complaints raised by concerned citizens living in Davidson County. According to law enforcement, several residents alerted the local Sheriff’s Office of the illegal operations.

After the complaints were received, Davidson County Sheriff Richie Simmons filed a request with the North Carolina ALE Gaming Section. The sheriff requested assistance in investigating the matter.

The investigation

Undercover ALE Special Agents provided assistance and visited the locations. Their investigation confirmed that the properties were operating as illegal casino gaming facilities.

Both buildings were open to the public and provided gambling games. As customers played, the facilities offered complementary food and drinks. Winnings from the machines were paid in cash. All of these aspects are characteristics of a casino gaming venue.

Illegal activity

Gambling with and/or operating illegal gaming machines is a crime in North Carolina.

According to Sheriff Simmons, such locations can attract other illegal activity, namely drugs and prostitution. In a press release that Davidson County will not tolerate establishments operating illegal gaming machines.

Chris Poole, ALE special agent in charge, provided insight on state gambling laws. Currently, the law does not allow cash payouts to be made for credits won via any type of video gaming machine.

According to Poole, forms of illegal video gambling games are located across the state. Such games include video poker, video slots, video keno, and other types. He highlighted how these games aren’t regulated, stating:

There is no customer protection or regulation to ensure players are playing something that is fair.”

Poole went on to say that the games advertise false hope to people that they could win huge prizes by playing the ‘skill’ games. In reality, the amount of money that they will win was predetermined before they sat down to play the illegal machine.

Officials are still investigating the incident and arrests could be made.