The Gainesville-Hall County Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad hit a $4,000 jackpot on Tuesday when agents arrested a man on gambling charges.
They executed a search warrant at the Shell Food Mart and Truckstop on Monroe Drive in Gainesville and subsequently confiscated a computer and $4,000 in cash.
“We got some complaints that they were doing cash payouts for the video poker machines,” said Lt. Scott Ware, who heads the squad. “Based on that information, we applied for a search warrant.”
Byong Soo Chung, 59, of Suwanee was working at the gas station and was arrested on charges of commercial gambling and keeping a gambling place. The charges are a felony and a misdemeanor, respectively, and if convicted, Chung could face up to five years in prison and a maximum fine of $20,000.
Though it still happens, illegal gambling is not as prevalent as it used to be.
“It’s not as much of a problem as it was five or 10 years ago because legislation really cracked down on gambling,” Ware said.
“But occasionally, every few months, maybe twice a year, we’ll still find stores that are doing this, and when they pop up, we try to shut them down if we can.”
Chung was booked in the Hall County Jail at 3:19 Wednesday morning and posted a bail of $6,000 later that day.
According to Ware, video poker posed a problem in the past because some players would compulsively spend the majority of their income on the machines.
“If they weren’t addicted to dope or meth, they were at least addicted to gambling, and they were spending their family’s earnings on these gambling machines,” he said. “It’s been a problem in Georgia and Tennessee, but it is much less now than it used to be.”