Crime

June 10, 2014

‘Magic Minutes’ owner indicted for illegal gambling

A federal grand jury has charged a Richland County man in connection with operating an illegal gambling business in South Carolina.

A federal grand jury has charged a Richland County man in connection with operating an illegal gambling business in South Carolina.

Larry Flynn, 39, was charged with operation of an illegal gambling business and conspiracy to commit money laundering for his operation of the gambling business Magic Minutes, according to the U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles.

If convicted, Flynn could face a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.

Nettles said the case is part of an ongoing investigation.

Flynn and his Magic Minutes gaming devices have a controversial history in South Carolina.

In recent years, Magic Minutes gaming machines have been seized by local law enforcement, and local judges have issued differing opinions on whether the machines are legal.

According to Flynn and other backers of Magic Minutes machines, the devices allow users to buy phone time and offer a chance to play video poker, slots and keno for chances to win cash. They say the machines are allowed under a loophole in the state's gambling laws that allows sweepstakes games.

In 2013, Richland County deputies confiscated four Magic Minutes video games in the rural southern part of the county.

Also in 2013, Flynn was arrested by Spartanburg County sheriff's deputies and charged with possessing illegal gambling machines.

At a magistrate's hearing in Spartanburg County that year, Flynn testified he was the creator and owner of Magic Minutes machines seized by local deputies.

The federal charges announced Tuesday by Nettles are the most serious yet against Flynn.

Staff writer John Monk contributed.

 

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