Owners of Illegal 777 Casino in Berks County Strip Mall Charged

Written By Kevin Shelly on February 27, 2021

Four people were charged Wednesday with running illegal gambling at a strip mall shopping center near Reading, Pennsylvania.

Windfall Amusements 777 Casino in tiny Kenhorst was the target of a raid by Berks County law enforcement last August.

Charged are:

  • David Scott Hutchinson, 50
  • Nayhyum Hutchinson, 49
  • Sean Sang Lee, 49
  • Matthew Kyle Shepherd, 35

Two arraigned from 777 Casino, two at large

The Hutchinsons surrendered to Berks County detectives. They are free on $40,000 bail following arraignment.

Lee and Shepherd were at large at the time, The Mercury reported.

The four are owners of the casino, according to the investigation. They face charges of violating the state corrupt organizations act, dealing with proceeds of unlawful activities, and possession of gambling devices.

777 Casino hiding in plain sight

According to the police investigation:

Between February and August 2020, Pennsylvania State Police and detectives from the Berks County District Attorney’s office conducted a joint investigation. Windfall Amusements advertised on the internet and local billboards as a casino open to the public.

The investigation found the business was not a licensed casino and it contained numerous illegal gambling devices.

State police and detectives searched 1985 New Holland Road in Kenhorst, the site of the operation, and 205 Eastwick Drive in Exeter, an office and residence.

Lots of cash and many machines seized

Seized were 57 gambling devices, computers, and $67,768 in currency, along with business and financial documents. Paperwork identified the four as owners.

Enforcement of state laws has been slow and spotty. Berks District Attorney John Adams has faulted the Legislature for failing to act to clarify what is and isn’t legal in PA.

Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Judge Ellen Ceisler had ruled last year that without legislation labeling skills gaming machines as illegal gambling devices, there is no legal basis to seize the terminals.

However, unlicensed gambling machines that are based purely on chance, such as slot machines, can be seized, leading to confusion.

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Kevin Shelly

Kevin C. Shelly is an award-winning career journalist who has spent most of his career in South Jersey. He's the former assistant city editor of The Press of Atlantic City, where he covered the casino industry and Atlantic City government as a reporter. He was also an investigative, narrative enterprise, and features reporter for Gannett’s Courier-Post.

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