Businesses Busted for Video Poker Machines

SEPTEMBER 09, 2005 -- The games are over at seven businesses in New Hanover County. The sheriff's office conducted an eight month undercover investigation that led to the confiscation of 26 video poker machines and $80,000.

Capt. Bobby Blackmon says the businesses were giving illegal pay outs. "It's a growing problem not just in New Hanover County, but across the state, said Blackmon.

The doors are locked and the business is closed at Party Tyme on Shipyard Boulevard. They were busted for operating five video poker machines, which is a felony.

Brenda Curry was arrested at Party Tyme. She's facing a long list of crimes. She owned and managed all seven businesses in trouble.

Investigators say video poker machines are a magnet for crime. A man was murdered at a Furniture Refinishing business in Wilmington that police say was a front for poker.

Investigators say it's a gamble whether the businesses caught in this crackdown will operate poker machines again. They can bet if they break the law and get caught it won't be Party Tyme, it could mean hard time in prison.

Reported By Maggie Alexander