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Issue Date: Vol. 51, No. 8, August 2011, Posted On: 7/28/2011

TN County Poker Locations Get Pinched

Marcus Webb
video poker, video poker machine, gambling machine, Knox County Sheriff's office, Randy Nichols, amusement machine operator

KNOXVILLE, TN -- FBI agents participated as law enforcement officials from the Knox County Sheriff's office raided eight video poker locations in and around Knoxville, TN, in mid-July.

Prosecutors said police seized more than $50,000 in cash and several video poker machines, each valued between $8,000 and $15,000.

In an unusual development, local District Attorney Randy Nichols admitted his own wife wondered if public officials didn't have better things to do than shut down poker games.

Nichols said possession of video poker machines is illegal in the state and that the government is only targeting "people who make it a business."

Any operator found guilty of an "aggravated gambling" violation in Tennessee faces up to six years imprisonment.

No arrests were made yet during July's raids, but police said they expect charges to be filed. However, tracking down operators may be difficult and charges are rarely filed in such cases, according to local press outlets. | SEE STORY

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