Two mini markets in Delco functioned as underground casinos for all to see, the owners caught

Two suburban Philadelphia minimarts operated an illegal underground casino in plain sight, using video game devices, Your content has learned.

Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer today announced that a secret investigation into illegal slot machines in Delaware County has resulted in the seizure of illegal video game devices at two convenience stores, one at East Lansdowne and a second at Clifton Heights.

“Unauthorized slot machines have proliferated in convenience stores, pizzerias and laundromats across the Commonwealth. Due to inaction in Harrisburg, these devices are currently unregulated, with no monitoring to determine if the machines are operating fairly and no bans on minors from playing the games. As District Attorney, I am committed to supporting law enforcement in their efforts to protect Pennsylvanians from the harms associated with illegal gambling, ”Stollsteimer said.

Currently, there are approximately 24,000 slot machines located in the 12 heavily regulated casinos in Pennsylvania. In addition, the video game terminals (“VGT”) are located exclusively at approximately 44 authorized truck stops. Slot machines and VGTs are heavily regulated by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, and both must have minimum payout requirements, as well as controls in place regarding underage use. Gambling activities other than those specifically authorized by law are liable to criminal penalties.

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It is estimated that there are over 20,000 illegal gaming devices of the type seized in Delaware County. The owners and operators of these illegal gaming devices claim that, unlike slot machines and VGTs, they are not games of “chance” but rather games of “skill”. “Skill” games have never been authorized by the General Assembly, and there are no regulations to guarantee the kind of consumer protection that is in place for other types of gaming devices. .

“While we believe Harrisburg should enact clarifying legislation, pending such action, we will continue to work closely with the Pennsylvania State Police to investigate and prosecute the operators of these illegal machines. We agree with the PSP that the makers of these games are not doing enough to calibrate their odds to avoid scamming consumers, and to ensure that minors are not allowed to play these games. Said Stollsteimer.

A search warrant was executed at the Sunoco Mini Mart located at 555 E Baltimore Pike, Clifton Heights, in November 2020 and six video game machines were seized and transported to the Criminal Investigation Division.

The Mini Mart is operated by the defendant, Bhamran Gas and Wash, Inc. A search warrant was executed in November 2020 at the Exxon Mini Mart located at 1001Baltimore Pike, East Lansdowne, and seven video game machines were seized and transported to the CID. The defendant is identified as 1001 Baltimore Ave East Lansdowne, LLC.

“I would like to thank the Pennsylvania State Police, Liquor Enforcement Officer David Schoppe, CID Detective John Hoffner and Assistant District Attorney Doug Rhoads for their work in pursuing this lawsuit. . The operators of these illegal machines must understand that we take seriously our obligation to protect the citizens of Delaware County from illegal gambling, ”said Stollsteimer.

District Attorney and Criminal Investigation Division Remind anyone in Delaware County who observes suspicious activity to immediately call 911 and provide the most precise and precise details possible to assist law enforcement to investigate the service call.

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About Larry Struck

Larry Struck

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