Gaming equipment, cash and documents were seized Wednesday during a multi-county raid in Clermont and Brown counties.
The Ohio Casino Control Commission initiated the investigation after receiving complaints that Choice Cigar & Tobacco in Bethel was operating illegal slot machines, according to spokeswoman Jessica Franks. The investigation identified additional addresses in Brown and Clermont counties owned by the same person that also paid out cash prizes.
According to state officials, warrants were served to:
- Choice Cigar & Tobacco, 2234 Bauer Road, Batavia
- Choice Cigar & Tobacco, 110 East Plane Street, Bethel
- Choice Cigar & Tobacco, 654 East State Street, Georgetown
- Choice Cigar & Tobacco, 147 North Point Drive, Mount Orab
- Wilson Residence, 3470 Clover Road, Bethel
Because the case remains under investigation, the commission is not identifying the business owner. However, business records show the properties registered to Dwight D. Wilson.
No arrests were made. Twenty-five illegal slot machines were disabled and an indeterminate amount of cash confiscated, she said.
This is the first raid of this type in Southwestern Ohio, Franks said. The Casino Control Commission has conducted similar operations in the state in the last three years.
“Illegal casinos prey on vulnerable Ohioans, operate without proper oversight, and offer no recourse for consumers,” Ohio Casino Control Commission Executive Director Matthew Schuler said in a statement. “The Commission will continue to hold accountable those who disregard Ohio’s gambling laws, and we appreciate the assistance of our law enforcement partners in today’s operation.”
Authorities with the Brown County Prosecutor’s Office, Clermont County Prosecutor’s Office, Bethel Police Department, Clermont County Sheriff’s Office, Georgetown Police Department, and the Mount Orab Police Department assisted with Wednesday’s operation.