Georgia is just one of a handful of states that doesn’t have commercial or tribal casinos. The place doesn’t even allow pari-mutuel wagering. Plain and simple—it is completely illegal to gamble in Georgia! However, like any other place in the world, some individuals in the region doesn’t care about what the law has to say—they still gamble and run illegal gambling activities. This week, a convenience store in Georgia has been shut down after the police raided the suspected business in Marietta. A large tote of jewelry, hundreds of thousands in cash, eight computers, and expensive cars were all seized during this raid. Three people were also arrested after what the authorities are referring to as a “substantial organized crime investigation.”
The proprietor, Khubaib Hussain, owner of Gantt Foods in the 1000 block of Franklin Gateway has been under investigation for two years, and I suspected to own several stores used to conduct illegal commercial gambling. Hussain was arrested along with two of his top employees Arif Muhammad and Sampson Beye both work at a convenience store 400 block of Windy Hill Road. Marietta police said that they have been watching Gantt’s stores along these streets closely suspecting illegal activities such as drug trafficking. However, after an intensive investigation, the police realized that the stores owned gambling machines which they used to conduct illegal wagering. Marietta Police Officer Brittany Wallace says people would go to the stores and wager, anywhere between $5 and $5, 000, and collect their winning in cash.
“People come and sit at the machines and smoke their cigarettes as they play,” Nikki Tavares, a resident and a regular customer at the Gantt store told the police. So you know, it is also illegal to smoke in enclosed public places in Georgia. And even though the state allows convenience stores to provide coin amusement equipment, it prohibits all forms of gambling. Only lottery tickets and store credits are allowed. Gambling in real cash is illegal. It remains unclear why the police took over 24 months to crackdown Hussain’s businesses. According to several neighbors, the slot machines in the stores were plain views and were regularly occupied by gamesters.
Authorities are committed to eliminating all forms of illegal gambling throughout the region. This week, they also arrested a middle aged man, a resident in Woodstock for allegedly owning a sports book network which took bets for professional as well as college sports. However, gaming enthusiasts in Georgia have a reason to smile as the gambling bill is set to curtail operations such as Hussain’s if it becomes law one day. The bill appeals for the building of two gambling establishments in Georgia, and Atlanta is the perfect candidate for one of the casinos. Atlanta is just a short distance away from Marietta if, so people here would really have a place to place their wagers instead of crowding Hussain’s tiny stores. However, as it stands, don’t even think about gambling while in the state of Georgia!