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Georgia Police are Raiding Small Stores with Illegal Video Blackjack

Feb 16, 2011

Georgia Police find illegal blackjack video games
Illegal video Blackjack

A quiet convenience store in Augusta, Georgia, was raided by a team of investigators from the county Sheriff’s Office.

According to police sources, an anonymous tip led investigators to a small convenience store on a rural road that had illegal video blackjack games machines operating in the back of the shop. During the raid, more than $100,000 in cash was seized, with the definitive figure to be released shortly.

The owner of the convenience shop, Vijay Patel is now facing an array of charges including felony commercial gambling. Barbara Williams, a 68 year old local, frequented Patel’s store to play lottery and won close to $600,000 over the past two years. She defended Patel, suggesting that he was not aware that the machines were illegal, but according to the investigators they are indeed prohibited by law. One of the principles upon which the United States judicial system is based on is – “Ignorance of the law is not a valid excuse for breaking the law.”

During the raid, Patel’s shop was packed with customers waiting to purchase lottery tickets, chat about the latest blackjack tricks or to play the illegal video blackjack. People from as far away as South Carolina drove to this store to buy daily lotto tickets, because of the store’s reputation of being “lucky”. Patel’s shop will most likely go out of business since expensive defense attorneys are his only hope of avoiding a conviction and a multi-year prison term. Williams is confident that the shop will reopen and she would try her luck for yet another big win.

Police are concerned that illegal video gambling machines are on the rise after receiving multiple anonymous tips similar to the one that led them to Patel’s store. Investigators are confident that news of the raids will frighten other businesses, trying to profit from illegal gambling rather than from selling lottery tickets, beer, cigarettes and newspapers.

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