New documents describe Orange County strip mall casino raid



ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - WFTV obtained newly released documents that describe how Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation agents took down Orange County's only strip mall casino.

Last November, agents raided the Winner's Club strip mall casino in Edgewood.

WFTV's Daralene Jones found out how much money authorities say the casino was bringing in. The operation already had $22,000 in the bank and when MBI agents raided it, it had only been open less than three months.

Five people were arrested in the raid on charges of racketeering, gambling and running an illegal lottery operation. They're now waiting to find out if prosecutors will offer a plea deal.

But WFTV obtained the 60-page investigative report that's now public. It gives an inside look at what went on inside the Winner's Club

Customers were given accounts based on their driver's license numbers. Money was added each time they play. But it appears customers walked away with small winnings, even though bank receipts show the strip mall casino deposited $8,500 the day it was raided, and there was another $9,000 recovered from a safe.

According to the report, the customers' winnings were predetermined based on a system set up by Figure Eight Technologies. That's the North Carolina based company that sold the business the 70 gaming machines it was operating, the report said.

That company got at least 25 percent of the daily profits, and sales representatives advised customers to have the gaming machines shipped so they wouldn't have to charge sales tax, according to the report.

And they described to them how it looked better in the "eyes of the law" if they donated 5 percent of profits to charity. Shortly before the Edgewood Winner's Club location was shut down, the employees helped open a new location in Seminole County.

They even took 30 gaming machines from the Edgewood location to the new one, authorities said.