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Alleged Illegal Gambling Operation Halted [AUDIO]

Jim Maurice

ST. CLOUD – The state of Minnesota says they’ve shut down an illegal gambling operation in St. Cloud, while the owners still contend they’re doing nothing wrong.

Officers served a search warrant at Triple Crown Sweepstakes today.

Department of Public Safety spokesman Doug Neville says illegal gambling devices, similar to video slot machines, were confiscated during the raid.

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The action is the result of an investigation into Triple Crown Sweepstakes by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division and the St. Cloud Police Department.  The case is being referred to the Stearns County Attorney for possible criminal charges.

The state received a citizen complaint in June that Triple Crown was planning on opening.  At that time the business owners claimed to be raising money for a charitable gambling organization.  Neville says his office had contacted the business owners before they opened.

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Triple Crown Sweepstakes allegedly approached several bars in the St. Cloud area claiming their products are authorized as electronic pull-tabs included in the recent stadium legislation.

Triple Crown Sweepstakes co-owner Steve Ehlen tells WJON News that “his position is the same as it has always been.”  He says, “It’s a sweepstakes, not gambling”, and “the state is looking at the wrong statutes.”

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