BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - After warning businesses to get rid of their illegal video gambling machines, Berkeley County sheriff's deputies turned those words of warning into action Monday afternoon.
The sheriff's office and agents with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division began to seized video poker machines from bars and other businesses. The state legislature outlawed the machines 13 years ago.
It didn't take long to find one at Crazy D's on Red Bank Road.
"I think people kind of thought that was kind of a forgotten thing. People don't bother about it anymore," said Berkeley County Sheriff's spokesman Dan Moon.
Deputies also found a poker machine at The Thirsty Turtle II and at some other businesses. According to the sheriff's office, deputies confiscated eight video poker machines that were declared illegal over a decade ago.
"Sure it's a moneymaker. But can you imagine after all these years people still think they can get away with that?", said Moon.
The sheriff's office and SLED want to make sure nobody gets away with it. They soon will also target the sweepstakes Internet parlors the state attorney general says also are illegal.
"We've still got a lot to do, so It ain't over yet," said Moon. "The message is folks we're gonna come after you. If you got these machines in your place of business, look out."
Businesses found with video poker machines may face a fine. They would have 15 days to appeal. The sheriff's office planned to target at least 15 businesses that are suspected of having video poker machines.
Investigators say deputies found illegal machines at the following locations on Monday:
Crazy D's on Redbank Rd., Thirsty Turtle on College Park Rd., Bruce's Lounge on N. Goose Creek Blvd., Steel Horse Saloon on Old Highway 52, Whistle Stop on Highway 52 and the Fast Break Lounge on North Main St., Summerville.
Sheriff Wayne DeWitt put these establishments on notice back on March 5, 2013 that this action would be taking place saying "I'm giving a two week notice as of today to anyone in Berkeley County who has these machines, whether stand-alone machines or networked systems, to remove them from your premises or face the risk of criminal and civil prosecution."