Charlotte Illegal Gambling Sting Seizes 170 Machines, $95,000

Charlotte-area detectives executed a raid on two illegal gambling locations in Charlotte on Feb. 10. As a result, more than $95,000 and 170 gambling machines were seized from operations that included gambling arcade devices from Fish Game Kings that have betting features.

North Carolina has legal gaming tables, slots, and retail sportsbooks at three North Carolina casinos. Unauthorized operations like the ones busted by law enforcement from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s ABC Unit on Feb. 10 are a danger to consumers because they are unregulated.

In a press release, the city of Charlotte said investigations are ongoing as police examine the machines and records seized in the raids, which were carried out simultaneously.

More Details on the Charlotte gambling sting

Officials raided a gambling den at 6233 Old Sugar Creek Road where they found patrons inside engaging in illegal gambling. There was also unlicensed armed security personnel on the premises. The two security guards were charged with providing armed security without a license.

Similarly, a raid at 5744 North Tryon St. was also open and active with illicit gambling when raided on Feb. 10 by state and local officials. According to law enforcement, two misdemeanor warrants were served for individuals engaging in other unspecified criminal activity.

Fish Game Kings table games are large arcade-style consoles that enable one or more players to play games that often include “shooting” at targets and “catching” fish in a game in which betting is allowed, and prizes are awarded. In some regulated casinos, these games are very popular.

The business called “Ploutos Arcade” at 6233 Old Sugar Creek Road in Charlotte had several Fish Table games when it was raided.

Where can you bet legally?: Gambling options in and near North Carolina

Legalization of Online Sportsbooks Uncertain in North Carolina

North Carolina passed legislation legalizing retail sports betting operators in 2021. But an effort to pass similar gambling laws for NC online sportsbooks in 2022 failed. Now, it’s uncertain when legislators may next introduce a bill to make online sports betting a reality.

Both Harrah’s Casino locations in North Carolina host a Caesars Sportsbook, and Catawba Two Kings Casino in Kings Mountain (west of Charlotte) also features a retail sportsbook. That’s the only way sports fans in the Tar Heel State can legally place wagers on sporting events. Neighboring Tennessee has both legal online and retail sports betting markets.

It’s a double whammy for North Carolinians, who cannot play online casino games, nor can they place bets from a mobile device on events like the Super Bowl or March Madness. For some, that means traveling to bordering states to enjoy the activity.

In addition, North Carolina could also legalize online casinos someday, letting people play on platforms such as FanDuel online casino anywhere throughout the state.

About the Author

Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes writes about sports betting, sports media, and sports betting legislative matters. He's the author of three books, and previously reported for Major League Baseball, as well as the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.