An unidentified man was shot and killed early Saturday morning by a security guard at a Florida gambling den. The incident took place at the Q-Time 777 in Lake City, Florida.
Police said a security guard initially responded to a dispute between the man and another individual. After telling the man he needed to exit the premises, he later returned brandishing a handgun.
Following shots fired, the security guard shot and killed the man.
At some point, he began shooting multiple shots inside of the business where there were other patrons inside,” explained Columbia County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Steven Khachigan. “At that point, a security guard, who was also armed, engaged the suspect in gunfire.”
Though multiple gunshots were fired, no one else was injured in the gambling space. Police say the investigation is ongoing.
Not Really a Casino
The Q-Time 777 is located in Columbia County on East Duval Avenue near Cider Drive. While the small gaming venue calls itself a casino, and local media referred to the business as such, it’s not much more than a large garage.
The Seminole Tribe of Florida holds a near-monopoly on casino gambling in the Sunshine State. The powerful Native American group owns and operates six casinos. One other tribe — the Miccosukee Tribe — owns its namesake casino west of Miami at the entrance to the Everglades.
The Seminole casinos, however, are the only ones permitted to offer traditional slot machines and house-banked table games, such as blackjack and roulette.
Florida is also home to numerous racinos that offer player-banked games, such as poker.
Q-Time 777 advertises being open 24/7. It’s unclear at this time what sort of gaming operations are offered at the venue. The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office did not respond to Casino.org’s questions regarding Q-Time’s games before publication.
Q-Time is certainly a far cry from visiting a Seminole casino. Instead of numerous fine-dining restaurants and A-list entertainment, Q-Time’s “amenities” include a neighboring Munchies gas station convenience store. For overnight guests, the Columbia Motel is next door. Its Google reviews include “stanky and dilapidated,” and “nasty drug infested.”
Gambling Den Crime
The seedy underworld of illegal gambling is ripe for criminal acts. Money, gambling, and alcohol — often paired with drugs — is a dangerous cocktail.
Late last year, 15 reputed mobsters were arrested in Philadelphia on allegations of running illicit gambling services. Last week, law enforcement in New Jersey raided an illegal gambling den and arrested three men.
Police in Las Vegas rescued some 300 birds groomed for cockfighting just days ago. And in Connecticut, three men have been charged with running illegal gambling rings at multiple bodegas. They’re each being held on $100,000 bail.
And finally, authorities in the Netherlands recently arrested Tse Chi Lop, known as “Asia’s El Chapo.” Tse has ties to several of the world’s most notorious triad gangs, including the 14K, Wo Shing Wo, Sun Yee On, Big Circle Gang, and Bamboo Union.
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