Three Ohio Businesses Raided by State Gaming Authorities

Posted on: April 11, 2024, 11:40h. 

Last updated on: April 11, 2024, 11:47h.

Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC) agents and local police seized multiple machines and money from a trio of alleged illegal gambling operations on Wednesday.

OCCC Executive Director Matthew Schuler
OCCC Executive Director Matthew Schuler, pictured above. He warns about illegal casinos. (Image: Yogonet)

The businesses were identified as Grand Luck Gaming in St. Marys, as well as Moon City Gaming and Lucky 7 in Wapakoneta.

No details were provided about how many machines were taken from the three sites. Similarly, it remains unclear how much cash was seized. Documents were also taken by Ohio authorities.

Arrests Likely

So far, no one has been charged as a result of the raids, but charges are certainly possible in the future, authorities said.

The court-ordered raids came after activities at the three operations led to complaints from the public.

The two communities are about 11 miles away from each other in western Ohio.

The OCCC launched an investigation and a state judge approved the searches in an effort to curb illicit gambling.

Illegal casinos operate without proper oversight and prey upon vulnerable Ohioans,” OCCC Executive Director Matthew Schuler said in a statement.

Grand Luck had been under surveillance by authorities for several months.

Gaming operations such as Grand Luck do not follow any of the state’s regulations,” St. Marys Mayor Joe Hurlburt said in a statement. “It was time to shut them down.”

Initially, businesses may give out tokens to customers, which can be exchanged for merchandise, according to Hurlburt. But the operations can move into illegal activities such as businesses paying out money to winners.

“Over time, once they get to know a person, that merchandise is turned into cash, and that’s illegal,” Hurlburt explained.

Operations Led to Robberies

The concern about activities at the three businesses weren’t limited to alleged illegal gambling. Their activities have led to other types of crime, such as robberies, thefts, and violent assaults, local police officials claim.

Just yesterday, we had somebody who was convicted of stealing close to $25,000 from here,” St. Marys Police Chief Jake Sutton said in this week’s statement about Grand Luck Gaming.

None of the three raided sites are licensed casinos.

“[There are] truly only four casinos that can operate in the State of Ohio,” according to Sutton. The licensed commercial casinos are in Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, and Toledo.

The OCCC oversees the four commercial casinos and regulates sports betting, skill-based amusement machines, and fantasy contests in Ohio.

The St. Marys and Wapakoneta police departments helped state agents with the searches.

St Marys is located about 200 miles west of Cleveland.