April 26, 2017
Pennsylvania State Police seized more than 200 illegal gambling machines Tuesday as part of an ongoing investigation.
The state police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement executed numerous search warrants and conducted inspections of licensed liquor establishments in Washington, Westmoreland, Fayette and Allegheny counties.
Officials said they searched 48 licensed liquor establishments as well as a business, warehouse and residence. They seized 215 illegal gambling devices and more than $177,000 in cash.
“The ongoing operations of illegal gambling devices and illegal video gaming terminals, while often viewed as a victimless crime, result in lost tax revenue for Pennsylvanians and victimize households of citizens whose family members have gambling addictions,” said Maj. Scott T. Miller, director of the BLCE. “The devices are not included in, nor may they be considered a part of, the Small Games of Chance Act.”
State police said that illegal machines like these are unregulated and do not operate on true odds. The amount of money retained by the machine is set by the vendor. The payout percentage would never be known by the player of the machine and is not verified by any governmental or industry oversight.
State police said criminal charges and liquor code administrative charges are forthcoming as the investigation continues. The Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General is assisting with the prosecutions.
In 2016, the BLCE seized 706 illegal video gambling devices and more than $167,000 from illegal gambling activities.
Anyone who is aware of a location with an illegal video gaming terminal is asked to contact the BLCE at 800-932-0602 or your local law enforcement agency.