by: Paige Hansen Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Gambling and any "games of chance" are illegal in North Carolina but in the past few days, authorities made an illegal gambling bust on South Boulevard in Charlotte.
Alcohol Beverage Control law enforcement called the recent bust "significant" and said they caught the gamblers in the act because of a tip Friday night from Crime Stoppers.
“If it was legal then it would be right out in the open for everybody else to see,” said Sgt. Tony Chesser with ABC Law Enforcement.
Officers found 50 people playing poker around five Las Vegas-style gambling tables.
The man who leases the property said the space is a "social club" and it's never created a problem before.
That kind of gambling happens all over the city "didn't think it was any big deal," the lessee said in a phone interview.
Officers seized poker chips used by Players Plus and more than $3,800 in cash.
“Gambling has come back into the forefront when you start talking about the World Series of Poker that is played on ESPN,” Chesser said.
Law enforcement said they're not going after people playing at home but large-scale operations get their attention because of the cash involved.
“Now you've got a lot of cash on hand -- you've got criminals out on the streets that say, ‘Hey, this is a good place to hit,’” Chesser said.
Four people including the properties' leasee were charged with gambling which is a Class 2 misdemeanor.
ABC Law Enforcement said they make only a handful of busts like this every year.
They rely heavily on tips from the public to find out about these sorts of operations.