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SHALLOTTE—Dec. 1 marked the first day of a new law prohibiting electronic gambling machines, and Shallotte Police wasted no time enforcing the new law.
On Monday afternoon, Shallotte Police seized five electronic gambling machines from A-Z Cigarettes in the Shallotte Plaza off Main Street.
The new law makes it illegal to “promote, operate or conduct a server-based electronic game promotion.”
In addition to the machines, police also seized $2,293 in cash and a .38 special two-shot pistol from the cigarette store.
No charges were filed at press time Tuesday, but Shallotte detective Eric King said charged were pending. The district attorney’s office was in the process of reviewing the case, and charges were expected by the end of the week, King said.
Possession of five or more machines is now a Class G felony, King said.
King said when he entered the store Monday afternoon two customers were playing the electronic games. Customers swipe a card similar to a pre-paid phone card on the machine and are paid out any winnings in cash, he explained.
While it is illegal only to operate the games, not play the games, King said anyone playing the games is subject to any money or winnings being seized by law enforcement.
Early Monday morning, Shallotte Police entered another local gaming center, Shallotte Business Center, off N.C. 130, but the center had already closed for business.
N.C. General Statute 14-306.3 states, “It is unlawful for any person to possess ay game terminal with a display that simulates a game ordinarily played on a slot machine regulated under G.S. 14-306 or a video gaming machine regulated under G.S. 14-306.1A for the purpose of promoting, operating or conducting a server-based electronic game production.”