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Police find illegal video gambling going on in Hanford strip mall

Gaming machines in Hanford removed after police discover they are used for illegal gambling.

HANFORD, Calif. (FOX26) -- The Hanford Police Department has taken down an illegal gambling operation happening in strip-mall store on W. Grangeville Blvd. and N Eleventh Ave.

The Joe's Discount store was operating two "fish hunter" game machines which take up to $100 bills and give a cash payout.

Corporal Chris Barker knows the ins and outs of the game because he went undercover at the store where the machines were used for about three months.

“There’s really no skilled involved it’s just randomlike pulling the leaver on a slot machine it’s essentially pushing a button,” said Cpl. Barker.

That's what makes it illegal, the fact that players are placing bets and if they win getting cash.

This is new to the valley but not new to the state.

“In our research, we found Bakersfield had several of them,” said Cpl. Barker.

Illegal gambling is a misdemeanor crime and Jouzeph Tahhan, the owner of the store, will be slapped with a $500 to $1,000 fine per machine.

The Hanford Police Department also confiscated $3,300 cash from the owner.

Families who frequent the strip mall, like Bob Box, say they're happy to see the business closed because it was attracting the wrong crowd.

“Lot of foot traffic coming through there, and some alcohol and a little cussing.,” said Cpl. Barker.

The Kings County District Attorney's Office will also be fining the store for not having workers compensation insurance, which Hanford Police says is a $10,000 fines.

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