Illegal Slot Machines Seized in Alabama
Illegal Slot Machines Seized in Alabama
At least five illegal slot machines have been seized in a raid at the American Legion post in Tarrant, Alabama.
Police executed the search warrant at Post 113 on Pinson Street, where an arrest was also made.
Over $5,000 was found in the machines hidden away in a back room, and a man was arrested on gambling and other drug-related charges.
Sgt. Jay Jenkins said the investigation had begun several months ago following numerous citizen tip-offs complaining of illegal gambling taking place on-site.
A cease and desist letter was sent to the property back in 2019 and American Legion 113 complied, however, the machines were put back into play sometime later.
Since then, the police have received further complaints of illegal gambling, despite completing multiple business checks to see if the establishment was in compliance.
Tarrant police aren’t the only ones trying to fight illegal gambling, either.
The American Gaming Association (AGA) and the Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers (AGEM) have announced they will be informing local officials of the dangers of unregulated games in partnership.
Both groups have decided to work together to combat illegal “skill” or “amusement” games which are often just fronts for illegal activity, such as money laundering.
While casino gaming is considered one of the most highly regulated industries in the US, the recent growth of unregulated machines has caused concern over the lack of testing, consumer protection, and responsible gaming measures.
President and CEO of the AGA Bill Miller said in a press release, “Stamping out the illegal market that threatens the safety of consumers will always be one of the gaming industry’s highest priorities.”
“We are proud to work with the Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers and our fellow industry partners to combat the spread of illegal machines.”
He added that rewarding bad behavior is not the correct solution, and hopes to educate policymakers will stop the spread of illegal devices.
Executive director of the AGEM Marcus Prater said, “The spread of these machines represents a serious threat to the overall regulated market that has invested billions in infrastructure while also creating thousands of jobs and substantial tax benefits in the communities they serve.”
“Moreover, unregulated machines prey on confused players who see slot machine symbols and think they’re getting a fair chance when they absolutely are not.”
Over 20 professional gaming organizations have now joined the AGA and AGEM to help the newly formed partnership, including the National Indian Gaming Association and the National Council on Problem Gambling.
States are also working individually to tackle the issue and remove machines from establishments.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is currently working with the PA State Police, Governor Wolf, and the PA Lottery to remove illegal gambling machines from the state.
Just last week it was revealed to lawmakers that unregulated machines in the state could be taking as much as $600 million from state programs for seniors by not paying tax.
The gaming board control has shared photos of minors gambling at illegal machines in convenience stores and gas stations across the state, with police receiving dozens of tip-offs surrounding unregulated pop-up gambling dens regularly.
The state seized several illegal machines and $1,330 in cash from two establishments last week.
Police took four video gambling devices and $657 in cash from the G Lounge on Vine St in Shamokin on February 19, before confiscating another two devices and $673 in cash from The Ale House Bar & Grill on February 21.
A huge 71 machines, including 65 video gambling devices, have been confiscated in Pennsylvania between January 22 and February 25 alone.
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