Myrtle Beach police seize illegal video poker machines from laundry business

troot@thesunnews.comSeptember 27, 2013 

— Myrtle Beach police plan to charge the owner and operator of Myrtle Beach Coin Laundry after local and state officers seized video gambling machines from the business, according to authorities.

A warrant was issued for Dennis F. McGrath, 64, of Surfside Beach on a charge of operating a gaming house, according to a Myrtle Beach police report. Officers contacted McGrath and advised him to surrender to police to face the charge.

Myrtle Beach police and agents with the State Law Enforcement Division went to the business about 11:30 a.m. Thursday after complaints about video poker gambling, according to the report. Officers learned the machines could be switched from legal games to video poker games.

An officer went into the business and saw three table top video machines and was asked to play the games, according to the report. The officer said he wanted to place a different set of games and McGrath went into the office and switched two of the games.

The officer inserted a $10 bill and played a few hands of “Jacks or Better,” a simulated card game, according to the report. The officer asked to cash out and McGrath checked the screen and then went and retrieved $103 and paid the officer.

The officer identified himself and the games and money were seized by police, according to the report. Officers also seized $897 in cash from the office.

There were several patrons washing clothing in the business and officers advised McGrath they were getting a warrant for his arrest, according to the report. Police took the machines to the Myrtle Beach Police Department and stored them as evidence after a magistrate signed an order to destroy them.

No other details were listed in the report.

Contact TONYA ROOT at 444-1723 or follow her at Twitter.com/tonyaroot.

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