4 illegal gambling businesses busted in Lake County, deputies say

Four illegal gambling businesses in Lake County were shut down and six employees have been cited this month, according to the Lake County Sheriff's Office. 

The investigation, conducted by the sheriff's office's Special Investigation Bureau, the Florida Gambling Control Commission (FGCC) and other local law enforcement agencies, started because of an increase in "calls for service, criminal activity, and other threats to public safety," according to deputies. 

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Detectives searched four different gambling businesses in the area with warrants to seize all illegal gambling devices. About 170 gaming machines and over $200,000 were seized from the following locations, according to the Lake County Sheriff's Office:

  • Hot Spot, 11145 U.S. Hwy. 441, Tavares
  • Hot Spot, 11203 U.S. Hwy. 441, Tavares
  • Hot Spot II, 37415 SR-19, Umatilla
  • Cyber Monkey, 23505 SR-40, Astor
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The Lake County Sheriff's Office busted four illegal gambling businesses on June 13, 2024. (Photo: Lake County Sheriff's Office)

As a result, these locations were shut down and six employees were issued citations in lieu of physical arrest, in accordance with Florida Statue 849.01, which says it's illegal to keep or maintain a gambling house.

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"Illegal gambling establishments operate outside the legal, regulated market to exploit vulnerable Floridians," said FGCC Executive Director Lou Trombetta. "They are usually associated with organized crime, do not generate state tax revenue, and do not provide the same consumer protection or safeguards as legal gaming operators."