Convenience store raided in gambling bust - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Marion County

Convenience store raided in gambling bust

By Lindsey Connell - bio | email | Twitter

BUENA VISTA, GA (WTVM) -  Officials with the Marion County Sheriff's Department say some customers at the M&L Food Mart in downtown Buena Vista have been doing more than just picking up a cold drink or snack at the busy convenience store.

Police say some folks were also trying to win big on illegal gambling machines inside the mini-mart.

It is legal to have gambling machines in Georgia but officials say that's only if the store pays winning customers with merchandise.

Marion County Sheriff Horace Snider says it was a different story at M&L.

"We obtained a deputy and an undercover and went in and played the games and they paid us off in cash," he said.

The undercover sting netted four machines and cash.

The Sheriff says the store's owner, an employee and possibly the owner's wife face gambling charges.

His office had the store under surveillance for two years.

The Department has been cracking down on the machines because, most times, he says they're not programmed to be fair to hopeful players.

"We had some citizens around here spending a considerate amount of their money on these things thinking they'd win and at times, somebody would win a few dollars and that would just bring more people into play them but these machines are not designed to pay very much," said Sheriff Snider.

The Marion County Sheriff tells WTVM another convenience store in Buena Vista has similar machines.

He didn't say which store but says it is under surveillance by his office to make sure they're not paying out in cash.


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