The Wichita Police Department recently conducted raids across a number of locations in Wichita as part of a crackdown on illegal gambling machines. In fact, the authorities executed a total of 10 search warrants in different businesses in the city. They even seized a number of illegal gambling machines in this connection. However, they did not state which businesses had been included in the dragnet.
Locals Helped the Wichita Police Department
Locals were able to provide information about the establishments visited by the police in this connection. One Stop convenience store located at West and Murdock was one such place. Police had raided it on Thursday, and the area around the store was overrun with police at that time.
Similarly, police served a search warrant at a number of small businesses on South Hydraulic, all of which are located near Wassall. These places included Happy’s Smoke Shop, Pop-a-top, and Fat Ernie’s restaurant, according to a lady who is employed at the last establishment and was a witness to much of the activity that took place.
Viet Nguyen, who also works in the area said that there were at least nine squad cars occupying almost all the space in the shopping area’s parking lot. The police also had a U-Haul with them and it was parked right at one of the businesses there. However, Nguyen mentioned that he didn’t see any gambling machines actually being moved out of the place. But the presence of the U-Haul would indicate that the police expected to move things out.
Entire Operation a Joint Effort by the Wichita’s Finest
The entire operation was jointly conducted by three government agencies. The Wichita Police Department was assisted by the District Attorney and the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission to undertake the investigation and the subsequent operation.
Police Officer Charley Davidson read out a statement about the number of search warrants that had been executed in different parts of Wichita. He also said that the authorities had seized a number of illegal gambling machines. He declined to provide any additional details. Instead, he said that additional information about the ongoing investigation would be offered the next week on 1 August as part of the police briefing.
Kansas’s Stand Against Online Gambling
The latest raids are part of the state of Kansas’s ongoing operation against online gambling. In fact, police conducting warrant searches has found almost 80 gambling machines. All of those were illegal in different businesses in the city. No arrests were made at the time of the warrant searches.
The police action in Wichita is only to be expected since most types of gambling are banned in Kansas. However, there are a few exceptions as laid out by the state’s constitution and any subsequent amendments to the law. The state does permit gambling operations in casinos owned by the Indian tribes. But there are no casinos run by any commercial groups. The government also owns and operates lotteries.
Gambling Allowed in Licensed Facilities Only
Dog racing and horse racing are permitted in the state as long as they take place in licensed facilities. The state also permits the installation of video poker and slots machines in these racing establishments. It does that as a way of providing regulated gambling to customers.
The law in Kansas also permits charitable, educational, not for profit religious, fraternal, and veterans organizations to conduct bingo games. However, they are only allowed as long as they have the license to do so. These organisations also have the right to organize charitable raffles.
The state has strict laws against gambling, with some offenses being misdemeanours whereas others are felonies. As a matter of fact, the state classifies some of these crimes as ‘crimes against public morals’. Hence, the authorities do not hesitate to shut down any operations that are breaking the laws.