Busted: Alabama sheriff seizes 108 illegal gambling machines

Published 9:58 am Friday, December 2, 2022

An Alabama sheriff’s office has seized 108 illegal gambling machines and more $13,000 seized after a two-week investigation.

After following up on some complaints from residents in one East Gadsden neighborhood, Etowah County Sheriff’s Investigators and Etowah County Drug Unit opened an investigation into makeshift gambling halls. It was found that it was causing unsafe issues in these neighborhoods, like traffic hazards, loud noise and music at night, said Sheriff Jonathon Horton.

Search warrants were executed at 5 (five) different locations in Gadsden on Thursday, and 108 illegal gambling Machines and $13,579.79 Cash was seized. The locations ranged from East Gadsden, South Gadsden, and Alabama City. During the execution of the search warrants no persons were present at the locations.

3 (three) of the 5 (five) locations had previously been delivered an order or “cease and desist” signed by the Sheriff and District Attorney, giving the business harboring the illegal machines 48 hours to remove them from the State of Alabama. All (3) of those entities had simply relocated to new buildings within Etowah County.

The Sheriff’s Office will ask the courts to order the machines to be destroyed and the monies that have been seized to be turned over to the state.

Alabama Law states:

A person commits the crime of promoting gambling if he knowingly advances or profits from unlawful gambling activity otherwise than as a player.

A person commits the crime of possession of a gambling device if with knowledge of the character thereof he manufactures, sells, transports, places or possesses, or conducts or negotiates any transaction affecting or designed to affect ownership, custody or use of:(1) A slot machine; or (2) Any other gambling device, with the intention that it be used in the advancement of unlawful gambling activity

At this time no arrest have been made, the investigation is still ongoing and arrest could come at a later time.