Officers in Richland and Lexington County Make Arrests for Illegal Gambling
At the end of January, South Carolina lawmakers overwhelmingly voted in favor of banning sweepstakes machines as illegal gambling devices.
The bill was introduced by Judiciary Committee chairman Larry Martin, of Pickens, with the intention of clearing up the ambiguity about sweepstakes machines. The devices allowed customers to buy small items like phone cards, then play games for a chance to win prizes.
The devices have been gaining in popularity over the years, indicating a shocking increase in illegal gambling machines throughout the state of South Carolina. The new law, which is headed to the House for further debate, states that sweepstakes machines are video gambling machines, and therefore illegal gambling devices.
Law enforcement officers, with the boost from the state’s legislature, continue to bust illegal gambling machines and parlors throughout the state.
Lexington County Law Enforcement Seizes an Impressive 13 Illegal Gambling Devices
On the very last day of January, officers in Lexington County seized 13 illegal gambling machines from four different bars in Lexington County. On Friday, the first of February, a judge officially deemed the devices illegal.
The illegal gambling machines came from the following bars:
Anthony’s Bar on Calks Ferry Road – Officers found and seized three Rush-Tel and one Mega Touch Chug Monkey tabletop gambling device.
The Bar of Lexington on Two Notch Road – Officers seized one Mega Touch Chug Monkey and one Mega Touch Live tabletop gambling device, as well as one CA Nexus gambling device.
The Barn on Jim Rucker Road – Officers took one Queen Bee gambling device, one Crazy Bugs gambling device, two Video Redemption devices, and one Spin Jack gambling device.
S&E Rack and Grill on the Edmund Highway – Officer found and took one Mega Touch Chug Monkey gambling device.
Richland County’s Sheriff’s Department Lives Up to Its Word to Bust Illegal Gambling Machines
An anonymous tip to the Richland County Sheriff’s department on Friday, February 1st, led to officers seizing illegal gambling devices.
Sheriff Leon Lott said earlier in January that he and his department would begin a crackdown of illegal gambling machines throughout Richland County. He gave owners of the devices, including sweepstakes machines, 5 days to get rid of their illegal gambling machines. He is now making good on that promise.
“The Sheriff decided that since they changed the law that we need to step up our efforts in trying to stop this illegal activity,” said Senior Deputy Kevin Lawrence.
A tip from Crimestoppers led deputies to an Eastover, SC nightclub, where they seized four illegal gambling machines, and also put the establishment’s owner in handcuffs.
“We are loading up the truck right now with the illegal machines that we’ve seized, and we are going to take them back to the Sheriff’s Department where they will be placed into evidence,” said Senior Deputy Lawrence.
Both Richland and Lexington county officials encourage citizens who know about locations with illegal gambling machines to call Crimestoppers. 1-888-Crime-SC.
The Strom Law Firm Prosecutes Operators of Illegal Gambling Machines
With the new influx of video gaming machines comes substantial gambling losses to South Carolina citizens. South Carolina has several laws in place to protect gamblers and their families from the financial ruin that their gambling addiction can cause.
A family or relative may file suit anytime within one year from the time the money is lost gambling. If you or a family member has lost money in video poker within the last year, you may have legal rights, and should contact a lawyer immediately. The attorneys at the Strom Law Firm have experience with illegal gambling cases, as part of state criminal defense. We offer a free consultation to discuss the facts of your case. To have a lawyer evaluate your case, please call us at 803.252.4800. Do not let illegal gambling charges ruin your future.