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State seizes Metropolis video poker machines     Send a link to a friend

Establishments face prosecution

[JULY 10, 2004]  The Illinois Department of Revenue, the office of Attorney General Lisa Madigan and local law enforcement authorities seized video poker machines in Massac County on Thursday after undercover agents identified five establishments illegally paying off on the machines.

"Taxes are not being paid on these illegal activities," said Revenue Director Brian Hamer. "The department will continue to pursue those who engage in illegal gambling and send the message that it will not be tolerated."

"Today's arrests -- in addition to the May 27 arrests -- are proof of our commitment to uphold Illinois' gambling laws," Madigan said. "Our efforts will continue until our message is clear to all: If you violate gambling laws by using video poker and slot machines as money-making devices, you will be arrested and prosecuted."

Five individuals were arrested, 21 video poker machines were confiscated and more than $2,500 in cash was seized in the operation. The Massac County Sheriff's Department, the Metropolis Police Department and the Illinois Liquor Control Commission assisted in the action.

Machines were seized at:

  • Shooters Bar and Grill, 1532 E. Fifth St., Metropolis
  • East End Tavern, 718 E. Fifth St., Metropolis
  • Trails Inn Lounge, 1640 West 10th St., Metropolis
  • Last Stop Tavern, 1011 West 10th St., Metropolis
  • American Legion Post 306, 321 Market St., Metropolis

Acting on a complaint, undercover agents had previously observed workers at each of the establishments paying out cash winnings to patrons playing the video machines. Video poker machines are legal in Illinois for entertainment purposes only. Based on the investigation, the Department of Revenue obtained arrest warrants prior to the raids, and Madigan's office will prosecute the cases.

 

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The individuals arrested are charged with gambling (720 ILCS 5.28-1) and keeping a gambling place (720 ILCS 5/28-3). Both charges are Class A misdemeanors. Those arrested were:

  • Christine Gilbert, age 37, Metropolis
  • Rese L. Hudlin, age 44, Metropolis
  • Rita Jacobs, age 48, Metropolis
  • Dee W. Tolen, age 45, Metropolis
  • Janie M. Little, age 44, Metropolis

The gambling charges also constitute a violation of the state's liquor license statute. The Illinois Liquor Control Commission, which conducted inspections in conjunction with the raids, can act against the licenses of the establishments.

The public is reminded that these charges are accusations. The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

[News release from the
Illinois Department of Revenue
and the Illinois attorney general]

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