NEW HANOVER COUNTY -- Vice and narcotics agents Wednesday shut down what they say are four illegal video poker establishments.
Sixteen machines were taken out of homes and businesses, including one on South 13th Street.
Authorities also seized $20,000 in cash and arrested four people.
A few players we spoke to say they were just trying to make some extra cash to pay bills. But the sheriff's department says it's a serious crime.
"It's been brought to our attention by anonymous phone calls. It's like any other crime, it has to be investigated. Also different citizens have concerns about violence that's associated with it: drug sales, doing this, prostitution and other black-market crimes," said Capt. Bobby Blackmon of the county's vice and narcotics team.
Just last May, Reginald Dent was murdered outside a video poker business in Wilmington. He was shot while trying to stop a man from robbing the store.
Reported by Kelli O'Hara