The gaming machines were found at El Super stores, the San Tan Village Mall, the Chandler Mall, Arrowhead Town Center and Paradise Valley Mall. (Source: CBS 5 News)
Mark Brnovich, director of the Arizona Department of Gaming, said a numbers generator in the machines "makes it basically impossible for the players to actually win." (Source: CBS 5 News)
Arizona law allows for amusement gambling, as long as the prizes don't exceed $35 in value. The prizes in these machines exceed that limit.. (Source: CBS 5 News)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -
Agents with the Arizona Department of Gaming, Attorney General's Office and other agencies have seized 24 gambling machines from 12 locations in Tucson and the Valley.
The machines were confiscated from several El Super stores in addition to the San Tan Village Mall, the Chandler Mall, Arrowhead Town Center and Paradise Valley Mall.
The devices look like something you might see in an arcade or a kid's pizza shop. Signs on the machines claim it is "easy to win."
"There's a number generator in there," said Mark Brnovich, director of the Arizona Department of Gaming.
He showed several of the seized devices to CBS 5 News.
"That makes it basically impossible for the players to actually win."
There are a few things that differentiates legal gambling with machines from what is being alleged in this case. Arizona law allows for amusement gambling, as long as the prizes don't exceed $35 in value.
"We're talking about, as you look up there, thousand dollar gift cards, iPads, iPhone 5s, computers," Brnovich said.
Additionally, all of the machines seized had been altered, making the odds of winning much more difficult for players.
When confronted by CBS 5 News, the manager of an El Super supermarket said he could not comment and referred all questions to the company's corporate office. CBS 5 News was unable to reach anyone at the company.
The machines are worth an estimated $132,000, and investigators also seized more than $28,000 in cash and merchandise.
The investigation is ongoing, and charges could be filed in the future, Brnovich said.
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