• Authorities raid Volusia bar amid gambling complaints


    VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - A Volusia County bar was raided Monday afternoon because illegal gambling was going on at the establishment, bringing in thousands in cash every month, authorities said.

    Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson said citizens complained about gambling at Surfside Tavern after investigators went out months ago and told the owner to get rid of his slot machines. But by March, at least four slot machines were put back into the bar, Johnson said.

    The electronic slot machines were carried out one-by-one on Monday. Investigators with the state's illegal gambling task force, the Sheriff's Office and Daytona Beach Shores took cash, computers and other documents as part of a search warrant.

    "We're not going to tolerate it. It's against the law. We get complaints on them, we will go after it," Johnson said.

    Johnson said they will subpoena the bar's bank records to try to find out how much the machines were bringing in. Investigators told WFTV they estimate the slot machines were making about $10,000 a week.

    Each machine had a sign on that said the games were for entertainment only and there were no cash prizes. But authorities said it's not true, and the bar was handing out cash to many customers who would play for hours.

    "Little old ladies with pillows coming in to stay for six or seven hours playing the games," property manager Robert Stolpmann said.

    Investigators said arrests in the case are pending.

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