8 arrested in illegal gambling game

By Times Staff Writer
Published December 12, 2006

Tampa police arrested eight people Sunday afternoon near Raymond James Stadium, accusing them of running an illegal lottery game.

The game promised customers a chance at an Xbox or a stuffed animal simply by guessing the right number on a ball, said Tampa police Sgt. Bill Todd.

Plainclothes officers working at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers game spotted the gambling operation. The operators set up a booth just southeast of the stadium at 3430 W Douglas Ave., selling chances, police say.

Under state law, such games that involve no skill are illegal, a misdemeanor offense.

Police think the game operators travel around the country. Investigators found gambling receipts totaling $8,505.

All arrested were operating the booth or passing out promotional fliers, Todd said.

Seven of those arrested face a misdemeanor charge of playing a game of chance, jail records show. Thomas Davis, the game booth's manager, faces a felony charge of keeping a gambling house, according to an arrest report.