Deputies raid illegal gambling operation in Tipton County - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Deputies raid illegal gambling operation in Tipton County

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COVINGTON, TN -

(WMC-TV) - Tipton County sheriff's deputies busted an illegal gambling operation Monday night, officials said.

The raid happened inside the Soundz arcade, located just off Highway 51 in Covington.

Investigators said undercover officers confirmed people were gambling and playing slot machines in a back room of the business.

"We're seizing the machines," Sheriff Pancho Chumley said. "We're seizing the cash."

Action News 5 had the only cameras rolling outside the arcade when Criminal Investigations Division converged upon a full house of illegal gamblers.

"They havd slot-type machines back here, and they were also drinking," Chumley said.

As detectives grilled gamblers, investigators hauled off machine after machine. Chumley said parents may have been unaware their children were walking into a danger zone.

"There were about four children, small children, that I had to turn away," Chumley said. "They were going to come in and do their arcade kid games, and in the back room we had several people who were doing the illegal gambling."

Authorities said Linda Mathis was charged with aggravated promotion of gambling. It was unclear if the gamblers would be charged.

Either way, Chumley said, putting children in harm's way in his back yard is a bad bet.

"When you have adults drinking and gambling in a hidden back room, and you have children in the front, that doesn't mix at all," he said.

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