New details in Jacksonville PD illegal gambling ring investigation

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JACKSONVILLE, Ark. — Police have busted 11 businesses for alleged illegal gambling after many complaints from citizens.

Investigators held a news conference today about an undercover investigation that was looking into local businesses for the illegal use of gaming machines.

The investigation is something the department credits longs hours of work and the public’s help.

Last night the Jacksonville Police said they raided 11 businesses and confiscated 62 illegal gaming machines.

Lt. Richard Betterton with the Jacksonville Police Department was the lead investigator on the case and he says the investigation was not an easy task.

“Over the last several months so many people when they would go to a gas station to try to get gas or there everyday traveling through the city it was hard for them to get in because of the all the cars from the gambling,” Betterton said, “The citizens got tired of it. It’s illegal.”

The Arkansas Gaming Commission has a detailed online version of the laws that define what types of gaming devices are prohibited.

“There are stipulations on there that clarify amusement games versus casino-style games.” Betterton said.

Police say for these 14 business owners, the game of gambling was the risk they were willing to take.

“It’s very important the business owners understand that before they do anything in their business they are ultimately responsible for what goes on inside on their property and in their business.” Betterton said

The investigation started back in 2017, but picked up momentum again last year when Lt. Betterton had his team go in undercover.

Police are still investigating this case and looking into things like the suppliers of the machines.

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