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Altus bingo hall busted for suspected gambling

Altus_Authorities raided an Altus bingo hall Tuesday night and confiscated equipment they say was being used for illegal gambling. The District Attorney's (DA's) Drug Task Force, Jackson County Sheriff's Office and Altus Police raided the Vietnam Veterans Bingo Hall. The raid was the culmination of a 2-month investigation.

7 News learned the Vietnam Veterans Bingo Hall has been open less than a year.

   District Attorney John Wampler says 8 computers, $5,000 and other equipment were confiscated.  "These were actually computers, CPU-units, a monitor, and there was software programmed into those that allowed you to play a slot machine type game on that computer," said Wampler.

 Authorities got a tip two months ago. Then an under-cover agent infiltrated the group. And two months after that, police cashed in. "Of course the law in Oklahoma does make it a crime to possess those, or two operate those, or to have those in your place of business," Wampler said.

  But a couple of surprises...authorities didn't shut the bingo hall down, and the machines weren't hidden in a back room. So Wampler says the people at the bingo hall may not have known they were doing anything wrong. "There are some other provisions dealing with distributors, and those people that would put these machines or supply these machines to the different establishments.  I'm not sure right off hand what the punishment is for that, but that's what the investigation is focusing on--is whether or not these are criminal activities that need to be dealt with," added Wampler.

   Nobody has been charged yet, and the district attorney isn't releasing any names. The penalty for having these machines could be a fine and 60-days in jail. Wampler says this is the first time that particular bingo hall has been raided.

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