The Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC), along with local law enforcement, served search warrants Wednesday morning at the Lucky You locations in Jeffersonville and Wilmington for “suspected illegal casino operations.”
The OCCC Division of Enforcement launched an investigation after receiving complaints that Lucky You, an arcade of skill games located in Jeffersonville, paid out cash prizes in violation of Ohio law, according to OCCC officials. A search warrant was also served at the home of the Lucky You owner, Dean Long.
Gaming machines, documents and other items were seized during the raid, which included the following locations: the Lucky You location at 1102 McArthur Road in Jeffersonville, Lucky You Too at 1669 Rombach Ave. in Wilmington, and Long’s residence at 1000 State Route 734 Northeast in Washington C.H.
Electronic slot machines were seen being carried out of the business into a Fayette County Sheriff’s Office trailer.
Cash prizes were seen being paid out at both the Jeffersonville and Wilmington locations, according to the Wilmington Police Department.
“The law is clear about the paying out of cash prizes and we will continue to hold accountable anyone who conducts illegal casino gaming in Ohio,” said Matt Schuler, executive director of the OCCC. “The commission takes our responsibility to ensure the integrity of gaming seriously and we appreciate the assistance we received on this investigation from the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office, the Wilmington Police Department, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Fayette County Prosecutor’s Office and the Clinton County Prosecutor’s Office.”
As of 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, no arrests had been made. This is an ongoing investigation, according to the OCCC.
Some customers who were inside the business earlier in the day expressed their shock concerning Wednesday’s developments.
“To the best of my knowledge and experience patronizing at Lucky You, they issued vouchers,” said Chris Poole, a local resident. “Once the vouchers were issued, winners could cash them. It is a pleasant, fun, relaxing and non-alcoholic environment for adults. It’s a nice alternative for those of us who don’t frequent bars or clubs for entertainment.”
In 2007, Talmadge Long, Dean Long’s father, brought his Lucky You emporium to what is now known as Jeffersonville Crossing, a former outlet mall on the west side of Interstate 71 at State Route 41. At the time, Lucky You had 108 devices that look and sound like slot machines but rely more on skill. State law prohibits luck-based games such as slot machines and roulette, but it allows games that depend in large measure on skill.
Nathan Kraatz of the Wilmington News Journal contributed to this story.
Reach Ryan Carter at 740-313-0352 or on Twitter @rywica.