North Carolina Agents Raid Illegal Casino in Trinity with Arrests Expected

Posted on: July 16, 2019, 07:23h. 

Last updated on: July 16, 2019, 08:25h.

North Carolina authorities are likely to make arrests this week following a recent raid of an illegal gaming operation in Trinity where 25 gambling machines were seized.

Law enforcement officials entered an illegal casino in Trinity, North Carolina during a raid. Gambling machines were seized. (Image: North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation)

Randolph County deputies and North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (NCSBI) agents searched a small building on Friday, identified in photos as 62 Blue Arcade. Inside, they found illegal video slot machines and fish game tables.

An undisclosed amount of cash and related documents were also seized. Charges are expected to be filed for felonious operation of illegal gambling machines and gambling, an NCSBI spokeswoman told on Monday.

The investigation was initiated after “numerous complaints” were made by residents about the operation — to both city officials and to local law enforcement agencies. Many such illegal casinos operate 24 hours a day.

Sweepstakes games and fish games increasingly have surfaced in the state since 2017. NCSBI’s website says it is illegal under state law to operate or possess any slot machine or device where a user can receive money, credit or anything of value from a game of chance. Video poker machines have been illegal for a dozen years, too.

State Debates Fish Table Games

North Carolina has seen a debate whether fish tables are games of chance or games of skill. Arcade owners contend fish tables are legal because they are based on skill, but law enforcement agencies disagree.

The Tar Heel State has seen many raids of illegal casinos in the last several months where illegal gaming machines were seized, and arrests were made by North Carolina authorities.

In March, officials searched multiple illegal video game parlors in Bladen County. Some 300 video gaming machines and $10,000 were seized there by law enforcement officials, according to WECT.

The Charlotte Observer reported last November an arcade in Asheboro — which like Trinity is in Randolph County — was raided by authorities. The operation was located inside the Lucky Day Skill Games & Fish Tables, police said.

When asked about the Friday raid of the illegal gaming venue, Jeffrey B. Welty, director of the North Carolina Judicial College at the University of North Carolina, told that “Most of the interest and energy around gambling in North Carolina lately has been about the status of various kinds of sweepstakes video gaming machines.”

Both the legislature and law enforcement have struggled to define and determine the legal status of those machines, and there has been considerable litigation in that area,” Welty added.

Similar raids have taken place in other states. On Saturday, authorities searched an unnamed San Antonio, Texas illegal venue. Officials report they found a couple of dozen slot machines and seized an undisclosed amount of cash — and two local women were arrested.

Limited Legal Gambling

North Carolinians can only take part in limited forms of legal gambling. The lottery remains popular in the Tar Heel State.

North Carolina is one of a dozen states that also allows residents to play online lottery games. Along with its Cash 5 and Lucky for Life games, North Carolina citizens can purchase the popular interstate Mega Millions and Powerball tickets on the internet.

The state prohibits commercial gambling venues. But tribal casinos operate on reservation land.

A sports betting and horse wagering proposal at reservation venues has gotten the support of the legislature. Senate Bill 154 was approved by the House in April in a 43-to-7 vote and was approved Monday by the Senate by a 90-to-27 vote.