Let’s Play Arcade Busted for Running Illegal Gambling Operation

Investigators say Let's Play Arcade was running an illegal gambling operation in Melbourne, Florida.
Investigators say Let's Play Arcade was running an illegal gambling operation in Melbourne, Florida.

MELBOURNE, Florida – The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office makes an arrest at Let’s Play Arcade for running an illegal gambling business, according to an arrest warrant.

A Special Investigations Unit walked into Let’s Play Arcade, located at 6450 North Wickham Road, Suite #100, in Melbourne, after receiving an anonymous tip about illegal gambling at the business.

During the initial investigation, detectives discovered several photos between the owner and another man showing the business containing illegal electronic slots machines.

Investigators then went into the business and determined that “the business was, in fact, an illegal gambling establishment,” the affidavit said.

An undercover agent paid $20 and received a card to use on the electronic machines. He was told by an employee that all winnings would be paid out in gift cards.

The agent played a “slot machine” type of game for approximately twenty minutes and won an amount of credit. He then used the credit to retrieve an Applebee’s gift card for $25.

In July, other agents visited Let’s Play Arcade and also won gift cards.

On July 25th, agents served Let’s Play Arcade with a search warrant and recovered $4,980 in gift cards and $1,623 in cash.

The business is owned by Aarish A. Tariq and Cheryl Lynn Morgart, according to Florida Division of Corporations.

Morgart told investigators that her company gives out the gift cards instead of cash winnings because she believed that would make her business legal. She also believed that the slot machines were legal because certain buttons could hold or stop the symbols during gameplay.

“However, she was informed that based on observations made by undercover agents, these games were games of chance and not skill,” the affidavit said.

Patrons believe skill is involved in their games when in fact they are games of chance, making them illegal.

Morgart was arrested and charged with Operating a Gambling House and transported to the Brevard County Jail.

DISCLAIMER: Arrests and mugshots were made public by complaint affidavits, arrest affidavits, and police reports. All persons arrested are innocent until proven guilty.

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Raised in Jupiter, Florida, Andy Hodges began his career in the field of radio and TV broadcasting where he worked for about 12 years. He would make a career change to computer programming. Andy spent seven years working for tech companies, including Delta Airlines in Atlanta as a Senior Systems Analyst. In 2002, he moved to Sebastian, Florida. Andy is also the Editor-in-Chief for Sebastian Daily.
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