ST. CLOUD -- The first of four defendants in what the state of Minnesota called an illegal gambling operation in St. Cloud is standing trial today.

Steve Ehlen of Triple Crown Sweepstakes is charged with four gross misdemeanors and four misdemeanors related to gambling crimes.

The cases of three other defendants still have their cases moving through the court system.

Authorities raided Triple Crown Sweepstakes last August seizing video terminals and other equipment.

Ehlen and the other three defendants argue their business is not illegal. Ehlen has told WJON News "it's his position that it's a sweepstakes, not gambling and the state is looking at the wrong statutes."

Ehlen is defending himself in the trial which is expected to last a few days.