Georgia bar owner busted for illegal poker games
The arrest followed a months-long investigation of the bar
For more than ten years, Traci McDonald has owned Motorheads, a bar and grill in McDonough, GA. She built it up to become a popular community hangout that was known for hosting weekly poker and pool tournaments. Unfortunately for the 50-year-old entrepreneur, everything came crashing down around her this past Wednesday.
Motorheads was the target of a search warrant presented by the Georgia Bureau of Investigations (GBI) and McDonough police Wednesday night, leading to McDonald’s arrest. She is being charged with commercial gambling and other charges, and additional suspects are expected to be arrested in the next couple of weeks.
The GBI began its investigation into the “live, casino-style poker games” several months ago, showing up and participating in the activity. They were able to wager, play poker and win cash in violation of Georgia law, leading to the surprise visit this week.
In addition, McDonald also offered “coin-operated amusement machines” that offered cash payouts. None was licensed by the Georgia Law, as is required by law, and cash payouts are never authorized – the only items that can be awarded are lottery tickets or other merchandise.
If you’re going to host illegal activity, it’s probably best not to do it in a high-profile setting. Motorheads is located on Macon St., one of the most highly trafficked areas of the city.
This most likely won’t be the end of surprise raids in Georgia. Cindy Ledford, GBI Special Agent in Charge, asserts that gambling in bars is not uncommon. She added, “It is a statewide problem, and there is a lot of money involved in gambling in Georgia.”