Investigators from the ABI and Jefferson County Sheriff's Office pulled 60 slot machines from 4 businesses yesterday. And today, we learned this wasn't the first time these machines had been removed.
Jefferson County District Attorney Brandon Falls says all 4 businesses were told 2 or 3 months ago by Fultondale Police to remove these machines because they are illegal.
Falls says all machines were removed voluntarily, but then they returned in the last few weeks.
When investigators heard the machines were back, they launched another investigation, got a search warrant, and removed the alleged slot machines.
Falls says he's not surprised to find illegal gambling going on, but he is surprised these businesses went ahead even after they were warned.
"Posession of illegal gambling machines is a misdemeanor, so I believe a lot of folks have taken it upon themselves to take that risk," Falls said. "I believe it was a foolish idea, without a doubt, to keep them up and running with everything that's been going on in the state."
No arrests have been made yet. Falls says making a case will be difficult if employees at the businesses in question don't cooperate.
"That's what makes this so difficult," Falls said. "It's not a matter of walking in and saying who owns the building, who owns these machines, and who's running this place?"
Falls says the machines in question are slot machines and are not in any way tied to the ongoing statewide debate over electronic bingo.
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