Jonesboro Police Confiscate 31 Gambling Machines in City-Wide Sweep

MARCH 27, 2006 -- POSTED AT 10:45 P.M. CST 

JONESBORO, AR -- There were 31 gambling machines and over $11,000, all confiscated in one weekend within the Jonesboro city limits. That's something police say is a huge indicator of just how big a problem gambling is in the city.

"They were able to serve search warrants on five different businesses, and we're almost sure there are other businesses that are operating these types of machines," said Sgt. Steve McDaniel of the  Jonesboro Police Department following a weekend sweep throughout the city.

The businesses where the gaming machines were seized include the Big Creek Store on North Culberhouse, Tobacco Supercenter on Gee Street , Jordan 's Kwik Stop at Nettleton and Highland, Valero's Gas and University Market on East Johnson, and Richard's This and That on East Nettleton Avenue.

Police say it was deterimined during the undercover investigation that the machines were being used for monetary gain and not for amusuement purposes.

"Those credits can be cashed in either for goods or for money. That's illegal gambling, and it's a major problem in the community," said Brent Davis, Second Judicial District Prosecuting Attroney.

He say the gambler's deal is a different problem.

"They spend their time locked in on these machines and spend hundreds, if not thousands of dollars monthly on the machines themselves," said Davis.

Playing the games is a misdemeanor, but having an operation known as a "gambling house" is a felony punishable by up to three years in prison.

But police say this is only the beginning. Their message for those not caught this weekend is just wait your turn.

Furthermore, police are reviewing their information with the prosecutor and from there, the charges will be determined for these businesses.