Authorities from the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office and multiple other agencies raided an arcade in Granite Quarry Tuesday following a month-long gambling investigation.
In January, operators of suspected illegal gambling casinos, running under the façade of arcades, were notified that North Carolina statute G.S. 14-306.4 would be enforced, according to a news release from the Rowan County Sheriff's Office.
The law prohibits electronic machines and devices used in illegal gambling and sweepstakes.
The sheriff's office said it has received multiple complaints over the past several years about gambling operations, calling the businesses magnets for crime such as illegal possession of firearms, drug trafficking, robbery and murder in a news release. Businesses were told to cease operation by Jan. 20 or risk consequences such as arrest, or seizure of equipment and profits from illegal business.
On Tuesday, a search warrant was executed by members of the Rowan and Davie County sheriff’s offices, along with Salisbury, Mocksville and Granite Quarry/Faith police departments, at the Granite Quarry Arcade. The release said law enforcement found 43 server-based gaming machines and approximately 10 customers were actively gambling at the time of the warrant’s execution. Deputies seized $4,413 in cash, all gaming machines and other computer equipment connected to the point of sale window. Also taken was surveillance equipment from the location, the release said.
The investigation indicated the operation had been ongoing since July 2019, and was owned by an individual with a Kernersville address attributed to another arcade called The Fruit Stand. Deputies said the manager at the raided site informed them employees were being paid in cash and didn’t know the business owner’s identity. He also acknowledged it was a gambling establishment, and that cash winnings were paid out as much as $2,000 at a time.
The release said the investigation is ongoing and charges will be forthcoming after consulting the Rowan County District Attorney’s Office.