Pennsylvania Man Arrested for Run Illegal Gambling in Over 30 Bars
A Pennsylvania man behind a $7 million illegal gambling business was arrested by state police this week. Tony Zenner's gambling machine business spanned four counties and included over 30 bars, say police. His arrest was the result of a lengthy investigation that uncovered over 10 years of illegal gaming activity.
Zenner's gambling machine business was born out of his vending machine company, Zenner Vending, which he has run for at least 20 years. In the past, his business made its money through cigarette machines and electronic bar novelty games.
As times changed, however, Zenner decided to boost his income through a new form of electronic game that was quickly growing in popularity – games that offer payouts to players. In each of the bars where Zenner placed his illegal gaming machines, he also held a legitimate license to host his vending machines in that location.
Zenner's machines allowed players to gamble on video poker and paid winners in cash. Following his arrest, Zenner Vending was closed by the state to allow investigators time to document his finances. Officers seized over $80,000 in cash, one of Zenner's vehicles, and over $60,000 from Zenner's bank accounts.
Zenner now faces more than 30 charges that are the result of a two-year investigation into his activity. They include operating a corrupt organization, profiting from unlawful activities, and operating illegal gaming devices. If he is convicted of all charges he could face up to 30 years in prison.
Zenner's is a case of early entrance in a gray market. Had he waited 10 more years he would have been able to obtain a state license to operate his video poker machines legally.