Undercover sting busts man accused of operating gambling houses in northern Arkansas
HARRISON, Ark. (KY3) - Police arrested a man following a bust of what they call gambling houses in northern Arkansas.
Daniel Scallorn, 33, of Green Forest, Ark., faces a felony charge of maintaining a gambling house. Scallorn posted a bond of $25,000.
Police shut down businesses called Internet lounges in Harrison and Mountain Home. Police say they began to notice several convicted drug felons entering the Platinum Internet Lounge. Investigators say police went undercover. They say they found customers inserting money into the gambling machines to gain earnings.
“We actually sent undercover officers in and started an operation and investigation into that, and it was discovered that there was illegal gambling going on,” said Harrison Police Chief Chris Graddy. “If they’re putting money into a machine to gain profit, that would be gambling. That type of activity has not been approved in this part of the state, and there are ways to legally gamble here in Arkansas.”
The raid on the Platinum Internet lounge resulted in 33 gambling-type machines seized in addition to a large sum of cash exceeding $50,000.
According to the Arkansas Racing Commission, which oversees gambling across the state, gambling in the state is only legal at three state-sanctioned casinos and via state-sponsored mobile apps.
“When it comes to these machines, if you walk into a gas station and see a machine over there with someone pumping $20 bills into it, I can assure the state does not play a role in ensuring that it pays back a minimum amount,” said Scott Hardin with the Arkansas Racing Commission. “That would be my number one worry, is those machines are not regulated by the state, as far as paybacks.”
Investigators say they believe the Platinum Internet Lounge may be a more extensive operation with possible locations in Green Forest and the Springfield area.
Neighboring businesses of the Platinum in Harrison say they hope the shutdown means a stop to recent disturbances.
“Some problems we’ve had are people trying to break into cars. We’ve had some toolboxes stolen from customers in the front during broad daylight,” said Madison Ivy, manager at Good Guys Pizza. “It’s mostly just been a little bit of criminal activity that has made people not want to come around these businesses as much.”
Officers from Harrison Police Department, Boone County Sheriff’s Office, Mountain Home Police Department, Newton County Sheriff’s office, 14th Judicial District Drug Task Force, and the Arkansas State Police were active in the investigation.
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