Belfast Telegraph

Police smash Northern Ireland illegal gambling ring in raid

By Jonathan Bell

Police have seized a large quantity of gambling machines from a property in Ballymena.

Police carried out a raid on a Wakehurst Road property on Thursday.

Eyewitnesses said around 30 officers were in the area for six hours loading around eight lorries with gambling machines.

A police spokeswoman told the Belfast Telegraph the operation was focused on those involved in illegally operating gaming machines and they carried out a search in the area following a tip from the public.

In all 96 gaming machines were seized along with a substantial sum of cash, police said saying their investigation was ongoing.

Inspector Michael Simpson added: “Local police will continue to target anyone who is suspected of being involved in illegal gaming activity. I would also warn any business owner who is considering becoming involved in this type of activity to think twice, and consider the possible consequences of their actions.

"There are also real issues here around addiction and exposing younger people to the culture of gambling.

"Part of our regular police patrols involve checks of arcades and similar premises to ensure no one under the age of 18 is allowed entry.

"I would encourage anyone who has any concerns, or any information regarding illegal gaming to contact us on the non-emergency number 101.

"Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 which is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime.”

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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