Gambling Machines Seized in West Ashley
The Charleston Police Department working with SLED agents seized five video gambling machines from West Ashley businesses this week
Undercover officers with the Charleston Police Department's Special Investigations Unit, working with SLED agents seized video gambling machines from two West Ashley businesses on Tuesday.
Two undercover officers entered the Exxon at 3515 Mary Ader Ave. Tuesday afternoon and played one of the two "Pot O Gold" machines in the location with a $20 bill. After cashing out of the machine, the officer got a "payout ticket" from the machine for the remainder of his balance, $13.67, which the cashier at the gas station paid him from the store's cash register, according to a Charleston Police Department report.
A few minutes later uniformed officers entered the store and seized the two machines under S.C. Statute 12-21-2710. That statute reads as follows:
SECTION 12-21-2710. Types of machines and devices prohibited by law; penalties.
It is unlawful for any person to keep on his premises or operate or permit to be kept on his premises or operated within this State any vending or slot machine, or any video game machine with a free play feature operated by a slot in which is deposited a coin or thing of value, or other device operated by a slot in which is deposited a coin or thing of value for the play of poker, blackjack, keno, lotto, bingo, or craps, or any machine or device licensed pursuant to Section 12-21-2720 and used for gambling or any punch board, pull board, or other device pertaining to games of chance of whatever name or kind, including those machines, boards, or other devices that display different pictures, words, or symbols, at different plays or different numbers, whether in words or figures or, which deposit tokens or coins at regular intervals or in varying numbers to the player or in the machine, but the provisions of this section do not extend to coin-operated nonpayout pin tables, in-line pin games, or to automatic weighing, measuring, musical, and vending machines which are constructed as to give a certain uniform and fair return in value for each coin deposited and in which there is no element of chance.
Any person violating the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned for a period of not more than one year, or both.
HISTORY: 1986 Act No. 308, Section 4; 1997 Act No. 155, Part II, Section 54B; 1999 Act No. 125, Section 1; 1999 Act No. 125, Section 8.
Later that same day the Special Investigations Unit, again working with SLED agents, sent undercover officers into R-Pub at 1836 Ashley River Road to gather evidence on alleged video gambling machines there, according to a separate Charleston Police Department report.
Two officers each loaded a $20 bill into one of the two "Sweepstakes" machines located there. After playing the machines for a few minutes one officer cashed out and received a "payout ticket" for $24, the other officer had $2 remaining on his balance. Both were paid by the bartender from the R-Pub register, the report stated.
Uniformed officers later returned to the bar and seized both machines under the same state law. Officers determined the bar had another similar machine as well, a Win Big Lucky Pick, Phone Card Fortune and Free Sweepstakes machine, which the report notes, "the South Carolina Supreme Court has deemed illegal per se under State Statute 12-21-2710."
The machines seized from the Exxon contained $408 and $980 respectively, for a total of $1,388. Of the three machines seized from R-Pub, the sweepstakes machines contained $20 and $50, the "Win Big Lucky Pick" machine contained $20, for a total of $90.