Police raid 12 bars in campaign against illegal gambling

January 19, 1994|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,Staff Writer

Sixteen video machines were seized during a police raid on 12 bars in northern and eastern Anne Arundel County on Monday, part of what law enforcement officials said is an aggressive campaign to wipe out illegal gambling.

Just having the machines is against the law in Maryland, but that doesn't stop in-state distributors from putting the machines in county taverns, said Sgt. Michael D. Wilson of the Police Department's vice unit.

"We will do a sweep like this, and most of the vendors will keep clear," Sergeant Wilson said. "But after a while, they will come back and slide a few machines back into bars. . . . Other jurisdictions don't take the same aggressive stance that we do."

Two teams of police officers swept through nine taverns in Pasadena and three in Glen Burnie, starting at 11 a.m. Monday. Among the machines confiscated were five video horse-racing simulations and several video poker machines.

Police made no arrests; Sergeant Wilson said officers simply seized the machines. He said the vendors will be given 30 days to prove in court that the devices were not used for gambling. If that fails, or the owners choose not to fight the action, the machines will be destroyed. Several bar owners, managers and employees refused to comment yesterday. A barmaid at Paul's Place, Alberta Fey, said only that the machine in the Glen Burnie bar "never paid off."

Police said they seized no money from the machines. That is in contrast to a similar raid in 1992 on two American Legion Halls in Glen Burnie and Severn, in which officers confiscated more than $70,000 and seized 12 machines.

Players typically earn credits which can be redeemed at the bar for money, police said. Each machine typically accepts between $1 and $20 per chance.

The Pasadena bars raided on Monday were: Rusty's Pub in the 7300 block of Fort Smallwood Road; Shane T's in the 8100 block of Waterford Road; Cheers in the 2900 block of Mountain Road; Magothy Inn in the 500 block of Center St.; Willie D's in the 9000 block of Fort Smallwood Road; Anchor Inn in the 7600 block of Water Oak Point Road; Stoney Creek Inn in the 8100 block of Fort Smallwood Road; Captain Buck's in the 8100 block of Fort Smallwood Road; and Chet's Place in the 7900 block of Elizabeth Road.

The Glen Burnie bars raided were: Paul's Place on Nabbs Creek Road; Clauss Liquors in the 600 block of Crain Highway; and Driftwood Inn in the 1600 block of Marley Ave.

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