Illegal gambling operations busted in Crisp County

Published 4:55 pm Wednesday, December 30, 2020

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Crisp County Sheriff Billy Hancock recounted the raids during a press conference at the G&N Food Mart , 416 W. 16th Avenue.

Cordele Smoke Shop at 1217 E. 16th Av. Suite H


U.S. Discount Store at 31310 S. 7th St.

Citgo Gas station at 411 E. 1st St. Arabi


Staff Report

Four illegal gambling operations were stopped Wednesday when a task force made up of Crisp County Sheriffs deputies, Georgia Bureau of Investigation agents, the Mid-South Narcotics Task Force and Georgia Lottery officials raided four illegal gambling operations,

three in Cordele and one in Arabi.

“In the several months, we have received complaints from city officials as well as citizens,” Crisp County Sheriff Billy Hancock said,  “About cash being paid out of these machines. When they do that, they take money away from our families.”

And it’s illegal.

“The Georgia Lottery says you can play a machine inside a store for a prize but you can’t take a cash payout,” Hancock said. “Some of these stores have done millions of dollars in just months here in Crisp County.”

During the last several months, Hancock said undercover teams visited each store, played the machines and opted for cash payments. In Georgia, credits may only be redeemed for lottery tickets and/or store merchandise.

On Wednesday, December 30 the agencies executed four search warrants in Cordele and Arabi for violations of Georgia’s gambling laws.

Search warrants were executed at three business locations in Cordele and one business location in Arabi. The business locations were:

416 W 16th Avenue, Cordele, GA

1217 E. 16th Avenue, Suite H, Cordele, GA

1310 S. 7th Street, Cordele, GA

411 E 1st, Arabi, GA

During the search, agents collected evidence related to commercial gambling and and seized monetary assets gained from the illegal use of gaming machines.