Illegal Gambling House Busted - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

11/03/04

Illegal Gambling House Busted

When Harrison County investigators confronted Brenda Brown of Gulfport about gambling at her lounge, Club 53 she denied that anything illegal was going on.

"What about the slot machine that's in the back?"

"I don't have one, said Brown."

"You don't have a slot machine back there," pressed investigator Keith Davis.

"No sir I do not," Brown again insisted.

An agent with the Mississippi Gaming Commission soon proved that statement false.

"This is a gambling machine. The knock off switch is here on the side," he declared.

The gambling raid on Club 53 followed a month long undercover operation by Harrison County investigators and the Mississippi Gaming Commission.

"Harrison County Sheriff George Payne received complaints from concerned citizens in the area of this bar, that people are going in there and actually losing their entire paychecks," said Davis.

Investigators found what they say is ample evidence that 48 year old proprietor Brenda Brown of Gulfport was operating an illegal gambling house.

"We were able to secure the gaming device that the citizens had complained about. We were able to seize numerous documentation that indicates the gambling that was going on inside the establishment. We also seized paraphernalia that was used in actual gaming such as dice, card games and chance games,"said Davis.

Brenda Brown now faces a number of charges related to what authorities say reminds them of the days when back room gambling was the only kind found on the coast.

"The Mississippi Gaming Commission and your local sheriffs departments all over the state of Mississippi have seen these little small establishments popping up. It's just the old time clandestine type atmosphere that they seek out in these places," added Davis.

And just like the old days, authorities say they too will seek out such places and shut them down.

by Don Culpepper

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