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Cumberland County Authorities Bust Gambling Operation

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CUMBERLAND COUNTY — Several illegal gambling operations in Cumberland County are out of business. The Sheriff's Office confiscated dozens of illegal gambling machines Thursday.

Authorities had received several complaints from residents about illegal activity at the Lucky Four Bingo on Bragg Boulevard. They began an undercover investigation, which culminated with the confiscation of more than 50 machines at four different locations across the county.

Neil Monroe of the state's Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) says most of the machines may have come from South Carolina, which recently outlawed the machines.

The machines at the Lucky Four Bingo were paying out cash, not prizes. It is illegal in North Carolina for customers to win cash and prizes over $10.

"Today, I hope this sends a message to those that have illegal machines because we are going to be looking," says Cumberland County Sheriff Moose Butler. "With the new law coming in, it's going to get tougher and tougher."

Authorities say Lucky Four Bingo had two rooms with illegal machines -- one on the outside and another where the customer had to have special permission to enter.

The manager of the store was present as authorities confiscated the machines. He said it is a misunderstanding.

Warrants have been issued for 11 people, totaling 150 different charges. The ABC and the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office are creating a task force to combat the illegal poker machines coming from South Carolina.

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Melissa Buscher, Reporter
Michael Joyner, Photographer
Kamal Wallace, Web Editor

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