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Gaming Machines, Evidence Seized As Part Of Illegal Gambling Investigation

Reported by: Send eMail Sean Delancey
Reported: Jul. 16, 2014 4:42 PM EDT
Updated: Jul. 17, 2014 8:54 AM EDT
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Illegal Gambling Investigation
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Chesapeake , Lawrence County , Ohio

The Lawrence County Sheriff's Department raided Sky Lake Wednesday afternoon, looking for illegal gambling machines.

Deputies served a search warrant at the pay lake after a six-month joint investigation between the Lawrence County Sheriff's Department and the Ohio Attorney General's Office.

Tracy Ellis, owner of Sky Lake, said he thought the machines were legal because they payed out less than $10.

But Sheriff Jeff Lawless said he doesn't know of a law that "allows for a small payout like $10. A payout is a payout."

Lawless said any payout is illegal in Ohio, and the machines at Sky Lake were no exception.

Lawless said the investigation began when several people complained to both the sheriff and the attorney general about the gambling machines.

"One gentleman called and said I have a mother who goes there and spends her entire monthly paycheck out there," Lawless said.

Ellis said that is just not true.

"You want to lose money, go over to West Virginia and play on those machines.You can lose $10,000 in an hour on those machines. These aren't like that," Ellis said.

The machines and an undisclosed amount of cash were seized from Sky Lake.

Lawless said the prosecutors office would consider the evidence, and charges should be pending.




Authorities said a Lawrence County, Ohio, business is under investigation in connection with allegations of illegal gambling.

Gaming machines and other evidence were removed from Sky Lake on Eaton Drive Wednesday after a search warrant was served there, according to a news release from Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine.

The warrant was served by investigators with the Lawrence County Sheriff's Office and Lawrence County Prosecutor's Office with the assistance of the Attorney General's Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Charitable Law Section.

"This joint investigation began earlier this year after local authorities received several complaints regarding suspicious activity inside the business," DeWine said in the release. "Today's search warrant is being served in order to gather additional evidence to support our belief that illegal gambling was occurring here on a regular basis."

The investigation is ongoing, and no charges have been filed at this time.



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