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Cops and Courts

Gaming machines seized in Amherst Twp.

  • Lucky-Jackpot-raid

    Investigators from the Lorain County Prosecutor's Office assist the Ohio Casino Control Commission as they load gambling machines onto a Uhaul. The machies were taken during a raid at the Lucky Jackpot location on Telegraph Road.

    BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

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AMHERST TWP. — It was an unlucky day for Lucky Jackpot Entertainment after multiple machines were seized by law enforcement as part of an illegal gambling investigation.

Chief Investigator Gary Abicht said four machines were taken by investigators as well as the motherboards for the other gaming machines in the building. He said after the seizure there shouldn’t be any operational gaming machines at the site.

Abicht said no arrests were made at this time.

The Ohio Casino Control Commission, Lorain County Sheriff’s Office and Lorain County Prosecutor’s Office worked in conjunction to serve the search and seizure warrant at the storefront.

Abicht said undercover agents from the Ohio Casino Control Commission went to Lucky Jackpot Entertainment and played on the four machines that were confiscated, and found that they were providing illegal payouts. He said the machines at Lucky Jackpot were paying out cash.

Ohio Casino Control Commission spokesperson Jessica Franks said the agency will have some uniformed officers at casinos, but generally its agents work undercover.

Sheriff's Lt. Bob Vansant said there was a minimal amount of customers at Lucky Jackpot when police arrived. He said the illegal gambling operations are not harmless, and generally attract older individuals with fixed incomes.

“It’s not really a victim-less crime,” Vansant said.

According to a news release, the prosecutor’s office is still working to determine the nature and extent of criminal activity, and that the investigation is ongoing. Lorain County Prosecutor Dennis Will said generally in these types of investigations, the legal issues arise from what kind of devices are being used and how they pay out.

“There is a distinction between skills-based amusement devices as opposed to slot machines and the payout that they are allowed to make,” Will said. “And that's part of this investigation.”

Contact Sean McDonnell at 329-7148 or smcdonnell@chroniclet.com.
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