Gaming machines confiscated in Hale County

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 5, 2004

GREENSBORO – Six illegal gaming machines have been confiscated by state and county authorities from Hobson’s Grocery located between Greensboro and Eutaw on Highway 14.

Alabama Beverage Control officials and the Hale County Sheriff’s Department investigated the business Jan. 26.

The store is located at the intersection of Highway 14 and County Road 38.

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Authorities had received a tip that there was gambling on the premises, said Hale County Sheriff Larry Johnson.

“I’ve talked to them numerous times and warned them about people drinking on the premises,” he said. “He has an off-premises license.”

When officers arrived, “there was an open beer can in the pool room in the back.” There were also six video gaming machines in the back, the sheriff said. The money from the machines was confiscated, and the machines were later removed.

The incident report from the State of Alabama cited the charges of promoting gambling and possession of a gambling device.

Johnson said there are likely other businesses secretly running gambling machines in Hale County. It is something he and his officers will constantly have to look out for.

The District Attorney’s office for Hale County will file for condemnation of the gaming machines, said assistant D.A. Don McMillian. The machines could be destroyed or sold back to the business as long as they are removed from the county.

The proceeds confiscated will likely go to the Hale County Sheriff’s Department for use in law enforcement.

Illegal gaming machines are scattered throughout the area, normally found in mom and pop businesses, McMillian said. It is not a widespread problem, he added.

The gambling case would not affect the Hale County grocery’s alcohol license, the assistant D.A. said.