Gambling Raid in St. Andrew

Panama City police have made no arrests and haven’t pressed any charges yet against a St. Andrew business, accused of operating illegal gambling.

Officers carried 45 video gaming machines out of the "Harts under the Palms" club Friday night.

The 21-and-over club in the 1300 block of Beck Avenue opened just a few weeks ago. The owners were billing the business as an "arcade."

Winning players could exchange their points for gift cards to popular stores and businesses. Investigators say that in essence is gambling, and therefore against the law.

Panama City police say their seized almost two dozen of illegal gambling machines and the investigation is ongoing. Charges are pending.

For now, Harts Under the Palms is closed.

Bay County sheriff's deputies busted several similar businesses on Panama City Beach a few years ago, but this is the first raid of this type in Panama City.


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