Randy Williams, a 38-year-old man from Boca Raton, has been arrested by Florida law-enforcement agencies for his alleged involvement in illegal gambling activities at adult gaming arcades. He is facing 155 counts of owning illegal slot machines, money laundering over $100k, and working for an illegal gambling house. The operation resulted in the closure of three Venetian Arcades in Palm Beach County, while the owner faced multiple charges.
According to investigators, Williams owned or operated three Venetian arcade locations in Palm Beach Gardens, Royal Palm Beach, and Boynton Beach. The 38-year-old man allegedly owned illegal arcade locations in Vero Beach and Sebastian in Indian River County. Reports suggest that Williams earned hundreds of thousands of dollars from his illegal actions during the investigation. Court records show that Williams has been released on bail and must appear in court in July for an arraignment hearing.
In a bid to curb illegal gambling, Florida law-enforcement authorities launched a massive crackdown on illegal slot machines, which extended from Jacksonville to the Treasure Coast. As a result, multiple arcade locations were raided and forced to cease operations in recent weeks.
Under Florida law, only one tribal-owned casino and pari-mutuel venues in Broward and Miami-Dade counties are authorized to operate slot machines. In 2021, Governor Ron DeSantis signed a $50- million gaming compact with the Seminoles, granting the Native American tribe almost exclusive rights to operate slot machines.
Palm Beach Officials Mull Over Adult Arcades Prohibition
According to a Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office report, an investigation revealed three Venetian arcades in Palm Beach County, which hosted Las Vegas-style slot machines. The investigation of Venetian Arcades in Palm Beach Gardens was launched following an anonymous complaint.
An undercover agent found approximately 25 illegal slot machines. Later, the agent discovered more than 40 machines at the Royal Palm Beach location and over 50 machines in Boynton Beach. Following the revelations reported by the sheriff’s department, the Florida Gaming Commission forced the venues to cease operations.
In November 2021, a policeman went undercover to expose the last illegal adult arcade in Palm Beach – the Golden Nugget, which operated in a shopping plaza along Military Trail near Northlake Boulevard. In June this year, the owner of the gambling venue pleaded guilty to money laundering and other charges.
Earlier this month, the City Council gave initial approval to a measure seeking to ban adult arcades within the Palm Beach Gardens borders. City Attorney Robert Max Lohman said the ban was proposed in a bid to clamp down on illegal gambling and money laundering. He explained that city officials want to make sure that no new illegal arcade venues will pop up within the city borders.