The Georgia Bureau of Investigations announced the execution Tuesday of six search warrants in neighboring Madison, Oconee and Oglethorpe counties for various violations of Georgia’s commercial gambling laws. These were served at four business locations in the cities of Hull, Comer, Athens and Carlton as well as residential locations in Watkinsville and Hull. Agencies participating included the GBI’s Commercial Gambling Unit, the Madison County Sheriff’s Office, the Athens-Clarke County Drug Task Force, the Northern Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office, the Georgia Lottery Corporation and the Georgia Department of Revenue with the assistance of the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office, the Georgia Department of Corrections K-9 Unit, the Comer Police Department and the Georgia Department of Community Services.
According to a press release from the GBI, more than 50 officials launched the raids simultaneously. Businesses raided were:
- Kwik Chek, 9020 Hwy 29 South, Hull
- Kwik Pick Gulf, 1880 Hwy 29 North, Athens
- Sandy Cross Hardware and Cafe, 815 Lexington-Carlton Road, Carlton
- Valero, 25 Hwy 72 East, Comer
“While searching the locations, agents collected evidence related to crimes of commercial gambling and seized monetary assets gained from the illegal use of gaming machines,” Nelly Miles, director for the GBI Office of Public Affairs, announced in the press release. “All of the business locations are currently licensed to operate Coin Operated Amusement Machines. However, during the course of the investigation, agents discovered customers were receiving cash payouts for winning credits.”
Miles said in Georgia, credits may only be redeemed for lottery tickets and/or store merchandise. No searches were conducted in Walton County. The GBI did announce that “multi arrests are pending.”