Raid uncovers illegal video gambling machines in North Charleston

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) – Luck finally ran out for the P & M Grocery store in North Charleston late Friday night. A tip from Live 5 News led to a local convenience store being busted by authorities for operating an illegal gambling business off of Reynolds and Spruill Avenue.

Live 5 accompanied the North Charleston Narcotics Division and SWAT team in the raid of the store. The narcotics team says they confiscated five video poker game machines that held $1,000 in the operation on top of $4,000 in related evidence in connection with the gambling.

The teams found the machines behind a makeshift snack shelf but didn't catch any customers in the act.

"When we entered the store apparently they saw us come in," said Major Kenneth Kinard. "There was actually nobody at the machines at that time but there's plenty of evidence that we are recovering that tells us a machine was being used for illegal gambling."

South Carolina outlawed video gambling machines in 2000 and after the initial sweeps by the State to collect the machines, Major Kinard says the raids have recently begun to dwindle.

"Once in a while we find them. It's not been real prevalent here lately," says Major Kinard. "Most people have taken note and you don't find too many of them."

Which makes the bust at the P & M Grocery a good find according to the Major.

The Narcotics team confiscated all of the machines and evidence which they loaded on a trailer to haul away.

Authorities say the owner will be the only person charged and faces a fine of $470 or 30 days in jail.

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