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Gaming machines seized

By Brian Knox | Published Saturday, August 11, 2018
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MOVING OUT – Gaming machines were removed from two businesses along 16th Street in Bridgeport Thursday evening after officers found cash prizes were being given to winners in violation of state law. Photo courtesy of Bridgeport Police Department

Ten gaming machines were seized from two separate tobacco shops in Bridgeport Thursday evening, and the business owners could soon face misdemeanor gambling charges.

Bridgeport Police Chief Steve Stanford said officers received tips from citizens about possible illegal gambling going on in the two businesses, both located on 16th Street – one in the 1400 block and the other in the 1700 block.

“We had information that these locations were paying out cash like a casino,” Stanford said. “We’d been looking at this for about three weeks.”

An undercover officer had gone into the businesses and verified that cash prizes were being given to winners.

Stanford explained that the machines themselves are not illegal. Businesses are allowed to award prizes to winners, but a cash prize is against the law.

Officers executed a search warrant around 6 p.m. Thursday and seized five machines from each business, as well as $6,000 in cash.

“That just invites criminal activity into your neighborhood,” Stanford said of the possible illegal gaming. “Both businesses are close to residential areas. The citizens did a great job of monitoring these places and reporting to us.”

No arrests have been made.

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