BUNNELL, Fla. – Deputies in Flagler County have called game over for a local business that has been shut down after officials found and seized gambling equipment inside.
Sheriff Rick Staly was on patrol a few months ago and responded to Dakota Joes Senior Entertainment Center in Bunnell.
While Staly was speaking with the manager, he noticed something suspicious that resembled electronic gambling.
The Flagler County Sheriff's Office and Special Investigation Unit conducted numerous undercover operations at the business and found gaming devices that would pay the winners in money.
This allowed detectives reasons to get a search warrant related to gambling related offenses titled "Operation End Game."
Officials searched the business Friday and seized five gaming machines and money that was related to gambling.
According to authorities, the business was previously served with a cease and desist letter after officials investigated an armed robbery that happened on October 29, 2018.
The gambling activities had stopped for a period of time but started back up, deputies said.
“These internet cafes are illegal in Florida and often become targets for crimes, just like the armed
robbery that took place at this same establishment last October,” Sheriff Staly said. “We gave them fair
warning the first time that their activity is illegal in Florida. Now we are back again after finding illegal
activity. Any similar businesses operating in Flagler County need to cut their losses and close their
doors or face arrest with a future ‘Operation End Game’ coming to you,” the Sheriff's Office said in a news release.
Electronic gambling is a violation of Florida State Statute (FSS) 849.01, and keeping a gambling house
makes the owner liable for criminal charges under FSS 849.03. Employees and customers
may be criminally charged.
At this time no arrests have been made, but the investigation is ongoing, deputies said.