WMAZ Georgia: Neighborhood Reacts to Illegal Gambling Case

Video | May 7th, 2015

A sign on Pop’s Place in Byron says the store is closed on Sunday, but on Wednesday the parking lot was closed and no one was inside.

The store is just one out of eight businesses closed down for illegal gambling operations.

7 were in Byron and 1 was in Roberta.

Six store owners and employees charged with running the illegal gambling operations are scheduled to make their first appearance in court Thursday.

“They’ll do anything to get money around here, so it’s nothing that shocks me at all,” said Keondree Sandifer.

He lives about half a mile from Quick Stop in Byron, one of the stores that were closed.

He says he isn’t surprised to hear that it shut down because illegal gambling is so common in other stores across Central Georgia.

According to District Attorney, David Cooke, the businesses were giving cash payouts to people who played on electric gambling games.

That’s illegal under state law.

The stores are only allowed to award store credit or small prizes of merchandise to winners.

Some neighbors said they weren’t surprised to hear illegal gambling was going on at some stores, but were surprised to hear which stores were doing it.

Residents said they were shocked to hear the restaurant, Captain Jack’s Crab Shack and the Grub-N-Gas convenience store conducted illegal gambling.

Sandifer says Quick Stop being closed places a burden on people nearby who don’t have transportation.

He says instead of taking 5 minutes to pick up some groceries, it’ll take close to 30 minutes.

“[You] gotta go across the tracks now, that’s the only bad thing about it,” Sandifer said, “You gotta have a car or gotta have a bike, or catch somebody who’s going or send somebody to go for you.”

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