Florida Commission seizes more than $1M in illegal wagering ops

Updated May 17, 2023
Updated May 17, 2023By Chris Boline
florida betting news may 2023

In a state that has been known for illicit operations all over from Miami to Tallahassee, there was another major gaming bust in the Sunshine State this past month. Per a report from CBS 12 News in Fort Pierce, the Florida Gaming Control Commission (FGCC) seized more than $1 million in cash, assets, and machines at four locations in the state. As referenced in the article, an illegal gaming group thought they would get away with this scheme until the FGCC knocked down their operation. One of those four locations is the Midway Arcade in Fort Pierce which is where the news outlet reporting the news originated from. In this case, the location had unregulated slot machines

In this article, SBS will be going over what to look for from the latest gaming news in Florida along with more notes about Sunshine State wagering. 

FGCC special agents said multiple illegal assets seized

According to the report, FGCC Special Agent Robert Bethea, who operates undercover, said the commission seized more than a million dollars in assets, cash, slot machines, computers, and ATM machines. Bethea also mentioned in the article that by taking away the machines, the police/FGCC will have to store them for now because of crime scene evidence. The special agent also mentioned that these items will be held until there is a case or trial. Additionally, the commission issued an illegal gaming notice to the Midway Arcade in January, then the investigation initially began. 

The report also contained updates from the FGCC Director of External Affairs, Eric Carr, which went into more detail about how the gaming operation bust came to be. Carr said the investigation began after the complaint came into the agency as the owners refused to pay a winning $10,000 prize from a slot machine. Moreover, Bethea confirmed that all the cases were related as the slot machines were all owned by “one or two individuals.” 

In the same article, both Carr and Bethea confirmed the same people who own the arcade in Fort Pierce also handle the Players Paradise in Delray Beach and Lucky Game Lounge in Tampa. Moreover, the property was also seized from a location in St. Petersburg because they were not licensed to have these sorts of gaming machines. Bethea also noted in the report that since these establishments are not regulated by the state, “they can manipulate the machines to pay out as much or as little as they want.” Carr confirmed that there is no word yet on charge, but that they will be announced in the coming weeks. 

Lou Trombetta, FGCC executive director, said in the report “that illegal gambling establishments operate outside the legal, regulated market to exploit vulnerable Floridians.” Moreover, Trombetta said these establishments are usually associated with organized crime and do not generate state tax revenue. He also said these establishments do not provide the same consumer protections or safeguards as legal gaming operators as well. 

More notes and information about Florida gambling

After you are all squared away with your Sunshine State gaming update, make sure to also check out the variety of gaming resources that are at your disposal. For more information on the topic at hand, our Florida sports betting guide covers the latest news and gambling information from the Sunshine State. Of course, for those that are on the go, the SBS best betting apps rundown covers all of the nuances of mobile betting and how to make the most of it. On a final note, if you are interested in higher-stakes gaming then we have the page for you with the SBS VIP sports betting sites guide. Here you can find out more about the benefits of VIP wagering and how VIP sports betting works as a whole. 

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About the Author

Chris Boline
Chris Boline

As a devout aficionado of sports, Chris Boline has carved a career within the athletic realm. A skilled scribe, he boasts a decade-long portfolio that encompasses coverage of the NBA G League, the Los Angeles Chargers, football in the Mountain West Conference, and basketball. Beyond his professional pursuits, Chris is deeply invested in his community and dedicates his leisure hours to serving on boards, collaborating with community organizations, and cherishing the company of loved ones.

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