Twelve Individuals Face Criminal Charges
FRANKFORT, KY - On Friday, February 11, 2005, Kentucky State troopers, Alcoholic Beverage Control agents and Charitable Gaming investigators joined together for the culmination of the first phase of an investigation into illegal video lottery terminals (VLTs) in the Commonwealth. Governor Ernie Fletcher announced the on-going investigation during his weekly press conference stating, "I said that we would take enforcement action against illegal gaming machines in our state. I directed the state police to begin and today the initial results of that action will be seen. Video lottery terminals in Kentucky are an unregulated and uncontrolled source of gambling."
The investigation, a partnership between ABC, KSP and Charitable Gaming, resulted in seizures of 123 VLT's at 18 separate locations as well as twelve (12) people charged criminally. This phase of the investigation focused on the I-75 and I-64 corridors, coordinated regionally by the Dry Ridge, Frankfort, London and Richmond state police posts respectively.
Lt. Governor and Justice and Public Safety Cabinet Secretary Stephen B. Pence praised the efforts of the departments stating, "Last December, the media, through a series of articles, uncovered illegal video gaming across the state. Since then, the Kentucky State Police (KSP), the Alcoholic Beverage Control and agents from Charitable Gaming began their investigations to confiscate these illegal gaming machines. Now that we understand the scope of the problem, we need to be vigilant in our efforts to prevent future illegal gaming activity. I applaud KSP, ABC and Charitable Gaming for their efforts in curtailing this illegal activity."
The 18 locations, mainly truck stops and convenience stores, were located in Corinth, Richwood, Florence, Walton, London, Berea, Richmond, Waddy and Georgetown.
The daylong seizures that occurred at numerous locations were conducted simultaneously requiring intense preparation. "The Office of Charitable Gaming and the Office of Alcoholic Beverage Control were happy to partner with the Kentucky State Police in this effort to identify and remove illegal gambling devices from several communities in Kentucky," stated Mr. Chris Lilly, Executive Director of the Office of Charitable Gaming and Acting Commissioner for the Department of Public Protection. "Illegal gambling is a large and growing problem in Kentucky and this is just one of the many efforts law enforcement agencies engage in regularly. ABC and Charitable Gaming, both offices within the Department of Public Protection, work together on several projects each month and they look forward to the continued attention given to all of the forms of illegal gambling that occur in the Commonwealth."
Today's seizures culminated this phase of the on-going investigation into illegal gambling machines in the Commonwealth, however they do end the continuing struggle to combat illegal gambling.
Kentucky State Commissioner Mark L. Miller summarized the days events stating "I cannot overstate the appreciation I have for our partners in Charitable Gaming and Alcoholic Beverage Control. The leadership of Commissioner Lilly and the knowledge and experience of both departments played a vital role in the successful conclusion of this portion of the on-going investigation into illegal gambling in Kentucky. On behalf of the Kentucky State Police I extend our sincerest thanks for the invaluable assistance they provided. We look forward to our continued partnership as the investigation continues."