• Lake County targets illegal gambling operations

    By: Myrt Price


    LAKE COUNTY, Fla. - A Lake County business was shut down Monday in an illegal gambling investigation.


    When Tavares police officers raided Dreamers on State Road 19, they seized more than $10,000 in cash, one of the games, documents and hard drives.


    “Most people don’t realize that if it pays out cash, it’s illegal,” said Sarah Coursey, of the Tavares Police Department.


    Photos: Alleged internet cafe raided in Tavares


    Dreamers is the second alleged illegal gambling operation Tavares police have shut down since November.


    The Lake County Sheriff’s Office recently raided 10 alleged gambling businesses.


    >>>Read more Lake County stories<<<


    “These places are problematic and they have been problematic for quite some time,” said John Herrell of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.


    In the recent raids, deputies arrested four people, and seized electronics and more than $200,000.


    Read: Volusia County deputies raid Hot Spot internet cafe


    “It’s illegal, the places are illegal (and) there are no loopholes,” said Herrell. “In the past few years, the owners have tried to find loopholes and ways to skirt the law.”


    Deputies said the businesses tend to attract other types of crime and are often robbed.


    They also said getting them shut down is no easy task.


    “There is a process in place where we have to go in and do some investigating and actually put together a case that’s going to be very favorable for prosecution,” said Herrell.


    Deputies also said due to the heroin epidemic, recourses have been stretched thin.


    “The same unit that targets businesses is the same unit that also works the heroin and drug cases,” Herrell said.


    No arrested have been made in the recent case.

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