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Dakota Joe's Entertainment Senior Center shut down for illegal gambling

Operation End Game found gaming devices paying winners money

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BUNNELL, Fla. – Dakota Joe's Senior Entertainment Center in Bunnell was shut down by the Flagler County Sheriff's Office after an undercover operation found gaming devices in the business were paying winners in money, which is illegal.

Sheriff Rick Staly said he went to Dakota Joe's on Old Dixie Highway for a call for service and noticed suspicious activity that resembled electronic gambling.

Since then, detectives conducted several undercover operations at the facility and said they discovered gaming machines that pay winners money. That enabled detectives to get a search warrant, which was executed Friday evening.

Deputies seized five gaming machines and money related to gambling for cash.

Officials with the Flagler County Sheriff's Office said the business was previously served with a cease and desist letter on Nov.1, 2018, after deputies investigated an armed robbery that took place at the business on Oct. 29, 2018. The sheriff said gambling activities ended for a period of time before starting back up again. 

“These internet cafes are illegal in Florida and often become targets for crimes, just like the armed robbery that took place at this same establishment last October,” Staly said. “We gave them fair warning the first time that their activity is illegal in Florida. Now, we are back again after finding illegal activity.  Any similar businesses operating in Flagler County need to cut their losses and close their 
doors, or face arrest with a future ‘Operation End Game’ coming to you.”

Electronic gambling is a violation of Florida State Statute  849.01, keeping a gambling house, and makes the owner liable for criminal charges. Additionally, employees and customers may be criminally charged.

However, no one has been arrested in this case. Detectives said the investigation is continuing.