ST. PAUL, Minn. — One of four owners of an illegal gambling operation in St. Cloud has been found guilty on eight counts of aiding and abetting gambling, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division (AGED).
The verdict is the result of an investigation by AGED that led to criminal charges filed against the owners of Triple Crown Sweepstakes (AKA Minnesota Sweeps) on Dec. 14, 2012.
Triple Crown Sweepstakes Case
- June 2012—AGED received a citizen complaint that Triple Crown Sweepstakes was planning to open a business in St. Cloud where patrons could play slot machine-type games. AGED investigators contacted the business, which claimed to be raising money for a charitable organization.
- July 2012— AGED told the company that its plan was not in compliance with state law. Triple Crown Sweepstakes reopened within days of being notified by AGED that the business would be considered illegal in Minnesota.
- Aug. 9, 2012—Law enforcement officers raided Triple Crown Sweepstakes, confiscating all illegal gambling devices in the business.
- Dec. 14, 2012—Charges signed and filed with Stearns County against the owners of the illegal gambling operation.
- March 12, 2013—Trial began for one of the four owners of Triple Crown Sweepstakes; the owner was found guilty on eight counts of aiding and abetting gambling.
“This case represents a growing national issue of illegal gambling operations involving electronic gaming,” said Michele Tuchner, AGED director. “Our position is always to educate first, but when someone continues to challenge the law, we’re going to take action.”
About the Minnesota Department Public Safety
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) comprises 11 divisions where 2,100 employees operate programs in the areas of law enforcement, crime victim assistance, traffic safety, alcohol and gambling, emergency communications, fire safety, pipeline safety, driver licensing, vehicle registration and emergency management. DPS activity is anchored by three core principles: education, enforcement and prevention.
About the Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division (AGED) protects and serves the public through the uniform interpretation and enforcement of the state’s liquor and gambling laws/rules. AGED acts to maintain stability and integrity in the alcoholic beverage and gaming industry through the management of licensing, education, enforcement and regulation.
Established in 1996, AGED:
- Conducts background investigations and criminal investigations relating to lawful gambling, the Minnesota Lottery, pari-mutuel horse racetracks and card rooms, and tribal reservation gambling.
- Enforces laws pertaining to illegal gambling such as sports bookmaking and other illegal gambling activities.
- Resolves and mediates complaints on liquor and gambling violations.
- Conducts formal hearings on violators.
- Provides forums for discussion and resolution of liquor and gambling issues.
Recent AGED Activity
- Investigated 126 total violations of lawful gambling and illegal gambling complaints in 2012.
- Worked with the St. Cloud Police Department in August 2012 to shut down an illegal gambling operation in St. Cloud. Officers confiscated illegal gambling devices from Triple Crown Sweepstakes (AKA Minnesota Sweeps).
- Monitored, issued, approved or certified approximately 23,305 wholesale, import and retail liquor licenses/permits in 2012.
- Made 72 assists to local law enforcement agencies with alcohol- and gambling-related criminal and civil cases in 2012.