Some charged in gaming probe question city's actions


Authorities haul gaming machines from a business in Havelock on Oct. 17. Some of those charged in the investigation into the operation of alleged illegal gaming machines are blaming the city for issuing licenses that permitted them to have the machines.

Havelock News file photo
Published: Monday, December 2, 2013 at 09:02 AM.

Several business owners charged with operating illegal gaming machines in Havelock are blaming the city for issuing them licenses to operate the games in the first place.

“It wasn’t fair,” said Miteshkumar Vinodbhai Mistry, owner of the U.S. Mini Mart, where two Internet gaming machines were seized during Oct. 17 raids on several city businesses.

Mistry said had he known the machine was illegal, he would have taken it out. Instead, he was one of eight people to be issued a criminal summons in the case that police said in a news release was part of an 11-month investigation.

Mistry faces one count of operating or possessing a slot machine. He and the others are due in court on Dec. 19.

His business was one of several raided on Oct. 17 in which more than 300 pieces of evidence were collected.

“If they would have given us a warning, we would have took it out,” Mistry said. “They just came in and said you have illegal machines in the store and took the money and the machines with them.”

He later received a phone call and went to the Havelock Police Department to pick up his court summons.

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