Florida Hits Ohio Man With Over 100 Charges Linked to Running Illegal Slot Machines

  • Police accuse Timothy Surgen of running illegal slot machines at three arcades
  • A months-long investigation involved multiple undercover agents
  • Agents made cash playing on the slot machines, which is illegal in Florida
  • Police reported that all three adult arcades had armed guards posted
Lady Justice in front of Florida flag
Florida investigators have accused an Ohio man of running illegal Vegas-style slot machines at three gambling arcades. [Image: Shutterstock.com]  

Vegas-style slot machines

Florida investigators have accused a man from Kent, Ohio of running Vegas-style video slot machines in a state where this is against the law. According to Beach Circuit Court, Timothy Surgen, 57, pleaded not guilty to over 100 charges related to running illegal gambling operations in Florida.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office (PSBO) accuses the out-of-stater of using his Ohio-based firm Surgen Enterprises LLC to run the illegal slot machines at Florida’s Treasure Island Arcade, Black Beards Super Game Room, and Games N More in Florida.

denied a money laundering charge for over $100,000

Surgen pleaded not guilty to 120 counts of illegal possession of a slot machine and two counts of running a gambling establishment. The businessman also denied a money laundering charge for over $100,000.

Undercover players

According to the Akron Beacon Journal, Surgen brought his Kent company to Florida in 2019 and filed it as a foreign limited liability firm.

A year later, states the affidavit, Surgen applied for an additional business license under his Kent firm for Treasure Island Arcade, the application listing 50 machines in one room. An ex-employee of Surgen’s allegedly established the other two arcades in 2022, the two operations listing 45 machines between them.

A months-long PSBO investigation involving eight undercover operations eventually exposed Surgen’s alleged empire, after plain clothes officers frequented the three alleged gambling dens from November 2022 to September 2023.  

able to exchange slot cashout tickets for money and gift cards”

The PSBO gave the undercover officers $580 in order to play the machines at each location. The ABJ cites the affadvit as stating the agents “were able to exchange slot cashout tickets for money and gift cards.”

High stakes

The Florida investigation also accused Surgen of illegally making approximately $304,000, of which he allegedly pocketed $140,000 as laundered money, with $164,000 going towards funding his gambling dens.

The high stakes involved is apparent from the police report detail that said all locations had armed guards posted.

According to Beach Circuit Court documents, it is expected the State of Florida will bring extra charges against Surgen on November 9.

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