Raids Conducted on Nine Businesses in Georgia for Suspected Gambling Violations

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On Tuesday, March 5, 2024, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Commercial Gambling Unit, alongside the Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office and with the cooperation of the Georgia Lottery Corporation, conducted search warrants at nine business locations in the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit for suspected violations of Georgia’s gambling laws.

The search warrants were carried out at the following establishments:

  • Hop In, located at 7890 Veterans Parkway, Columbus, GA
  • Hop In, located at 4499 Warm Springs Rd, Columbus, GA
  • Hop In, located at 1400 Double Churches Rd, Columbus, GA
  • Lotto Mart, located at 400 3rd Avenue, Columbus, GA
  • Citgo Quik Mart, located at 314 5th Street, Columbus, GA
  • Hop In, located at 3875 St. Mary’s Road, Columbus, GA
  • Hop In, located at 5757 Buena Vista Road, Columbus, GA
  • Hop In, located at 3021 Macon Road, Columbus, GA
  • Hop In, located at 871 U.S. Hwy 27, Cataula, GA

The investigation revealed that these businesses were allegedly operating Coin Operated Amusement Machines (COAMS), where patrons were reportedly receiving cash payouts for winning credits. According to Georgia law, COAMS must possess proper licensing from the Georgia Lottery, and credits can only be redeemed for non-cash prizes such as lottery tickets or store merchandise.

More than 40 agents, investigators, and police officers participated in the raids, which were carried out simultaneously and in a coordinated manner. Multiple arrests are anticipated as a result of these operations.