Alabama authorities have confiscated more than a hundred slot machines in Etowah County. The investigation is ongoing and no arrests have been made at the time of writing.
Five illegal casinos were identified and raided
Police began investigating the case after complaints from people in an East Gadsden neighbourhood. Thanks to this, the police blew up several improvised gambling establishments throughout the territory. According to the authorities, the illegal casinos caused unrest among locals as they often played loud music at night and were responsible for various traffic hazards.
Warrants were issued to police yesterday, giving the go-ahead for searches of five separate unlicensed gaming venues in Gadsden. To be precise, the illegal casinos were found in East Gadsden, South Gadsden and Alabama City.
According to State Sheriff Jonathon Horton, a total of 108 slot machines were confiscated during the raids. In addition, police found more than $13,500 in cash at the illegal gambling venues.
So far no one has been arrested
Police said three of the locations searched had previously been warned to cease activities. However, it appears the venues failed to obey the sheriff’s and district attorney’s cease and desist orders and removed their machines from the state as directed. Instead, the illegal operators just pretended to follow orders and moved to new buildings.
According to local laws, the operators of the illegal venues are guilty of promoting gambling. Under Alabama law, anyone who knowingly promotes and/or profits from illegal gambling activities is considered a gambling promoter.
Furthermore, the operators are also guilty of possession of gambling devices. As a result, Horton and his office will ask the authorities to order the machines destroyed. They also demand the return of the confiscated funds.
At the time of writing this article, no one has been arrested. The investigations continue.
A similar case from Austria
Authorities in Austria have just dealt with a similar case where they uncovered a number of illegal operators and confiscated their machines. A similar sum ($18,000) was found at the venues. However, unlike their Alabaman counterparts, who played loud music, the Austrian operators were far more secretive. According to Austrian police, the illegal venues were cleverly disguised as other types of businesses, including food stalls and even a waxing studio. Some were locked behind heavy iron doors that required expert help to unlock.