Crime mahjong: Gambling right here in River City!

ariquelmy@ledger-enquirer.comJanuary 9, 2012 

Mahjong was the closest word I could find that has the vaguest connection to the subject matter, and desperately wants to rhyme with "blog." Go figure.

Why that matters in the slightest is a tale for another day. In the meantime, put the tiles aside and listen to a story about illicit gambling here in Columbus. Or so you might think if you read an incident report titled "Commercial Gambling" dated Jan. 8.

What it turned out to be appeared far less illegal. Police responded to a Second Avenue gas station (I'm not sayin' which) about 10 a.m. Sunday. A customer said he was playing the slots inside the business and won $303. However, store employees refused to pay him.

So, did any illegal gambling actually occur? Police say they arrested no one and recommended that no follow up occur on this case. Per usual, the supervisor backed up the officer's recommendation to do no more investigating.

Now, wannabe slot machines can be found all over town. You put your money in, play some games and drink your beer. They may appear like card games but you're not going to get any cash.

What I want to know is, why not go to one of those Internet businesses if you want to gamble? By using a clever interpretation of state law, these places are operating seven days a week. They pay out money, just like a casino.

I should know, because, um, a friend told me about them.

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