TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Three illegal gambling operations, in three different shopping plazas in Tallahassee, have been shut down.
The Tallahassee Police Department served search warrants to three local businesses, often referred to as "internet cafes."
Inside they discovered all three were running illegal gambling operations.
They arrested five people, with more arrest warrants pending.
After complaints from people in the area, TPD launched an investigation into businesses like Southern Amusement Arcade in April of 2019.
Residents and businesses in the are said they had no idea that something like this was going on behind closed doors.
Kenton Findley often visits the shopping plaza where Southern Amusement Arcade used to be.
"I thought they were getting ready, about to relocate," said Findley."I wasn't aware they were being shut down."
He says he thought it was a place people went to relax and play video games.
"I was under the assumption that it was probably one of those arcade areas where they had a couple of X-boxes and a couple of card games."
Grace Entertainment Incorporated, Havan 2009 LLC, and Southern Amusement Arcade are now closed.
Officers said they began their investigation because several of the "arcades" had armed robberies.
"Back in April we started getting complaints because several of these places got robbed in takeover robberies with firearms," Officer Bradshaw said. "In at least two occasions there were shots fired."
Police also seized over $4,000, weapons and several computers.
On those computers they found internet-based computer gambling games.
Those cases will now go to the office of the state attorney for prosectution. >
One of the nearby business owners said one of the "internet cafes" doors were always locked, a red flag, and they are not surprised.
This investigation is ongoing, and TPD says those involved could be charged with the maintenance of an illegal gambling house.