Blue Mound police seized 40 gambling machines and about $3,000 on Thursday after a monthlong undercover operation in an area where similar operations were dismantled in recent years, police reported.The raid was conducted at a strip center in the 1600 block of Watauga Smithfield Road, said Police Chief Shawn Fannan. Eight patrons were ticketed for unlawful gambling, a class C misdemeanor, but one man was arrested for outstanding traffic warrants that were unrelated to the raid, Fannan said.The machines will be seized in a civil process which, law enforcement officials have said, is more expedient than charging the owners in criminal courts.Fannan said officials got complaints that the business was illegally paying cash prizes to winners. Undercover officers started going to the location about a month ago, but some were turned away because customers had to be invited, Fannan said.Finally, he said, undercover officers got into the business to gather evidence for the probable cause warrant that was used Thursday.The chief confirmed that similar operations were raided in the same area in 2012 and 2013. It was unclear Thursday if the same people were behind all of the operations.
Bill Miller, 817-390-7684 Twitter: @Bill_MillerST