Two video slot machines bring fines of $6,000 'Armless bandits' seized in Woodlawn

September 10, 1993|By Larry Carson | Larry Carson,Staff Writer

Two video slot machines confiscated from a Woodlawn bar were declared to be gambling devices Wednesday by a Dundalk District Court judge who imposed $6,000 in fines for their use.

Judge Barbara R. Jung ruled that the machines, called "armless bandits," were manufactured as gambling devices and were not amusement machines used for gambling.

In the trial, Baltimore County police Detective John Koslowski said that Michael Pantelis, a part-owner of Hertsch's Tavern in the 1900 block of Gwynn Oak Road and the bar's licensee, gave him illegal gambling winnings Feb. 24.

Detective Koslowski testified that after racking up 100 points on the machine at Hertsch's and getting his under-the-table payoff, he obtained a search warrant and returned the next day with several officers to confiscate the machines and charge Mr. Pantelis.

The officers reported finding $1,902.25 in the machines, money accumulated over two days of gambling.

The money and machines were to be forfeited, Judge Jung ruled.

Attorney Richard M. Karceski -- representing Mr. Pantelis; Columbia Amusements Inc., the vending company that owns the machines; and Columbia Amusements executive Anthony Raymond Paskiewicz -- told Judge Jung that the vending company will no longer place these machines in businesses.

Detective Douglas Dunlap, the Baltimore County Police Department's expert on video machine gambling, said that several vending companies have pulled their video slot machines, which can accept $20 bills, out of the county's bars and liquor stores.

Mr. Pantelis received probation before judgment and a $2,000 fine.

Columbia Amusements and Mr. Paskiewicz were each fined $2,000. Mr. Paskiewicz also received 18 months' probation.

Judge Jung ruled that all fines were to be paid immediately.

This was Mr. Paskiewicz's second conviction this summer. On June 16, he was found guilty of possessing an illegal slot machine and fined $200. His company was fined $1,000 in that case, which stemmed from video machine gambling at New Monaghan's Pub in Woodlawn during July 1992.

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