MCDONOUGH, Ga. — An investigation into alleged gambling activities landed one McDonough business owner behind bars Wednesday night.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation conducted a joint operation with undercover agents after they received complaints about gambling at the Motorheads Bar and Grill on Macon Street.

Special Agent in Charge Cindy Legford of GBI's Commercial Gambling Unit said they've been working on this case for almost year.

"We had agents inside the bar at different times playing both the Coin Operated Amusement Machines and playing live poker tables inside, playing cash for both," she said.

gambling bust mcdonough

About 40 to 50 people were inside the bar when the bust happened - some of the customers with cards and chips in hand, authorities said.

"They were actually in the middle of playing a poker game, so the tables were full," Legford said. 

The owner, Traci MacDonald was arrested on a commercial gambling charge. 

Legford said while the COAM machines are legal in Georgia, gambling - placing bets and winning cash - is not.

"The Georgia Lottery is responsible for licensing the machines - Coin Operated Amusement Machines --and they are legal to have inside of the establishment as long as they are licensed and operated correctly," she said. "They become gambling devices when you start paying cash for credits redeemed - and in this case, that's what happened repeatedly for our undercover agents."

The machines were disabled; Legford said some of the employees could also face charges. As for the customers who were caught gambling inside of the bar, GBI said the McDonough Police issued them citations for violating city ordinances. 

This was a joint investigation between McDonough Police and GBI. Other agencies also responded to the scene during the bust.


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