Illegal gambling machines seized in Phoenix area

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Agents from the Arizona Department of Gaming seized dozens of illegal gambling machines throughout the Phoenix area. By Jennifer Thomas Agents from the Arizona Department of Gaming seized dozens of illegal gambling machines throughout the Phoenix area. By Jennifer Thomas
Agents from the Arizona Department of Gaming seized dozens of illegal gambling machines throughout the Phoenix area. By Jennifer Thomas Agents from the Arizona Department of Gaming seized dozens of illegal gambling machines throughout the Phoenix area. By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- Agents from the Arizona Department of Gaming (ADG) seized dozens of illegal gambling machines throughout the Phoenix area over the weekend.

Earlier this year, the ADG learned that a criminal enterprise in California might be moving to Arizona. 

The organization was suspected of distributing illegal gambling devices targeting various mom-and-pop convenience stores, gas stations and smoke shops throughout the Phoenix metropolitan area. The gaming devices allowed patrons to deposit money, play various casino-style games and win credits that could be redeemed for cash.

Undercover ADG agents visited locations and gathered evidence suggesting possible violations of various state gambling statutes, including the promotion of gambling, benefiting from gambling and conducting a criminal enterprise. 

On Saturday, with the assistance of the Phoenix Field Office of the FBI and the Arizona Attorney General's Office, ADG served warrants on 45 local businesses and one storage locker.

Agents seized 54 eight-line gambling devices and five coin-pusher machines, all containing cash, from various stores in Maricopa County, including Phoenix, Glendale, Surprise, Sun City, Mesa, Chandler and Avondale.

"Keeping unlawful gambling out of our neighborhoods is a high priority," said Mark Brnovich, director of the Arizona Department of Gaming. "Organizations promoting illegal gambling will quickly discover that they are not welcome in our state."

No arrests have yet been made as the investigation is still ongoing.

To report suspected illegal gambling, contact ADG at 602-255-3888.