TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Over $1 million in cash and assets was seized Tuesday during an illegal gambling sting targeting locations in Tampa and St. Petersburg.
According to the Florida Gaming Control Commission (FGCC), agents executed search warrants at locations in Delray Beach, Fort Pierce, St. Petersburg, and Tampa before noon Tuesday. There, they seized more than $1 million in assets, cash, slot-style gaming machines, computers, and ATM machines.
The commission said agents searched the Lucky Game Lounge located at 4802 Gunn Highway Suite 140 in Tampa and a building located at 2116 34th Street South, in St. Petersburg.
Authorities said a public complaint about the Midway Arcade in Ft. Pierce led to an investigation that later uncovered “extensive illegal gaming operations” in Hillsborough, Palm Beach, Pinellas, and St. Lucie counties.
“Illegal gambling establishments operate outside the legal, regulated market to exploit vulnerable Floridians,” FGCC executive director Lou Trombetta said. “They are usually associated with organized crime, do not generate state tax revenue, and do not provide the same consumer protections or safeguards as legal gaming operators.”
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “These illegal gaming operations will not be tolerated in Florida.”
According to the GGCC, illegal arcades often use “predatory tactics” to trick customers into thinking their machines are legal, “but they offer no consumer rights, no guarantee of fair play, and no recourse if an operator steals their money.”