Busted in Swansea: SLED seizes illegal video poker machines
An illegal gambling operation based in Swansea is officially out of chips. SLED seized more than 700 video poker machines this afternoon in the biggest bust of its kind in South Carolina history. No arrests have yet been made.
The machines were found Monday morning in a warehouse at 800 South Brecon Ave. A Swansea police officer was in the area checking on a report of smoke coming from a building. He saw water trickling under a door of the warehouse. The officer, thinking the water could be coming from emergency sprinklers, contacted the Lexington County Fire Department. The firefighters found an open door and went inside to discover no fire but enough illegal machines to handle any gambler’s hot streak.
SLED spokesperson Thom Berry estimated that 750 machines were seized. He said this is the largest bust of a video poker operation in South Carolina history, aside from one instance in which the machines were surrendered voluntarily. The machines allegedly were being repaired and refurbished in the Swansea warehouse. Berry said it seems unlikely that people were gambling at the site. The warehouse, which housed a sewing plant in the 1960s, is now owned by GLR LLC. A business license for the location was granted in June to Swansea Bond Storage.
Berry said SLED will pursue further information on this incident as part of a statewide investigation of illegal video gaming.