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Augusta Store Busted for Video Gambling Payouts


The store owner and a clerk at an Augusta convenience store were busted Tuesday for giving cash payouts on video gambling machines.

Hemant Phutane, 36, store owner of C-Mart Gas Station (left), and clerk Mukundlal Jayswal (right), 57, were jailed after a sting by the Vice Unit, sheriff’s Lt. Calvin Chew said.

Authorities had received several complaints about gambling at the store on Mike Padgett Highway.

“Undercover officers went in the store and confirmed that video gambling machines were being operated from inside the store and cash payouts were being made,” Lt. Chew said in a press release.

After several months of investigation, officers executed a search warrant Tuesday morning.They arrested the two suspects and and confiscated the video gambling machines along with $56,000 in cash.

“Most video gambling machines are legal to operate but cash payouts are not allowed,” Lt. Chew said.

Both men were charged with felony commercial gambling and possession of gambling device and keeping a gambling place. Bond was set at $9,400 each.

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Greg Rickabaugh
Greg Rickabaugh
Greg Rickabaugh is an award-winning crime reporter in the Augusta-Aiken area with experience writing for The Augusta Chronicle, The Augusta Press and serving as publisher of The Jail Report. Rickabaugh is a 1994 graduate of the University of South Carolina and has appeared on several crime documentaries on the Investigation Discovery channel.
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