Aces and Ales Tavern and Gaming are a local establishment in Greensboro, North Carolina that was recently raided by the State Alcohol Law Enforcement as well as local agencies. The tavern hosts regular poker games and the agencies shut down the establishment due to charges of illegal gambling.
When law enforcement arrived, around thirty to forty people were playing Texas Hold’em. Dozens of officials, armed and ready, busted into the tavern and served summonses of criminal activity to the business. Rodney Beckom is the agent in charge with the State Alcohol Law Enforcement and he stated the tavern was closed due to gambling. Beckom stated: “They were playing Texas Hold’em. It is a game of chance. There is a buy-in and a payout.” Reports state that games with buy-ins take place on a regular basis and many times the games will have buy-ins of $250.
Chris Storie and Paul Talley are the owners of the business and they were given a summons for a court appearance on gambling charges. Storie and Talley watched during the raid as police officers seized television monitors, cash, gaming tables, poker chips, decks of cards and basically anything associated with the gaming option. Storie watched and commented: “It’s all gone. There’s nothing we can do.”
Storie could not believe his eyes when law enforcement came into the building early Thursday night. Storie commented on what occurred stating: “I would have thought we were armed robbers or murderers when they came in on us. It was one of the scariest things I ever went through. All of a sudden, you’re looking at assault rifles and guns.”
According to Beckom, every officer who entered the building was sworn law-enforcement officers. Beckom stated each officer entered the building cautiously as around 50 people were inside. Beckom stated: “Anytime you serve a search warrant, there’s potential for something bad happening. I had my sidearm in my hand beside me. You don’t know what you’re dealing with.”
According to Beckom, police told everyone in the tavern to put their hands on their heads. None of the patrons in the building were charged. Beckom also stated that the ALE spoke with Storie back in December about the games before the Supreme Court of North Carolina rules internet sweepstakes parlors illegal.
Beckom stated that the police position was to determine if a sweepstakes was taking place. The officers determine that it had nothing to do with sweepstakes, and was basically a Texas Hold’em game. However, because gambling was taking place at the same time alcohol was being served, the ALE will be submitting a violation report with the North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission.