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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Friday, January 23, 2015

PSP Raids Three Nazareth-Area Social Clubs - Seize Cash & Machines

SGT Michael Carroll, who heads the Pennsylvania State Police's Liquor Control Enforcement Bureau in Allentown, has confirmed a raid at three Nazareth area social clubs on Wednesday afternoon. The Hecktown Volunteer Fire Co. Social Club (Rte. 191), Vigilance Hose (Nazareth) and East Lawn Social Club were apparently hit simultaneously. Law enforcement officials seized gambling machines located at all three establishments. They also seized cash from some of the establishments.

Poker machines are illegal in Pennsylvania if they offer payouts to the customers using them. Although often regarded as a victimless offense, gambling addicts will spend their entire paychecks on a poker machine. Those machines are usually provided by someone with ties to organized crime. Some social clubs will rig their machines to suck money away from some patrons while steering cash to others. But perhaps the biggest problem is skimming. Machine operators often get quite wealthy by pocketing a large percentage of the money used for gambling.

In small boroughs, many of the elected officials are also machine operators or officers in these social clubs. In Nazareth, for example, Mayor Carl Strye was until recently the President of Nazareth Vigilance Hose Vo. No. 1. Its social club was hit by the raid. There is no evidence he had any direct involvement in the poker machines. But it is highly likely he was at the very least aware of their use.

SGT Carroll stated that there are no charges at this point, "but there are charges pending." He indicated that agents determine whether there are liquor control enforcement violations, which are ultimately decided by the Liquor Control Board. But he added that, in some instances, there are Crimes Code violations.

Informed sources state that agents followed one steward to his home, where they found and seized money. SGT Carroll refused to confirm or deny that report.

59 comments:

Anonymous said...

Trachta needs help cleaning up the cesspool that is Naz, maybe the PSP can look into the stream of cyber bullying that flows from main st.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Trachta needs help cleaning up the cesspool that is Naz, maybe the PSP can look into the stream of cyber bullying that flows from main st. "

The comment above was posted by Tricia Mezzacappa. Did you answer your door when the Sheriffs visited you today?

Anonymous said...

@1:54 Don't know about West Easton, but cyber bullying, harassment and defamation stream from a vicious source on Ridge Street in West Easton. Maybe your mayor can clean that up. He and his daughter have been targets, as well as the author of this blog.

Anonymous said...

Last remnants of Prohibition Era law enforcement. Only if they seized the machines and took them out on the street and busted them up with sledge hammers in full public view! LMAO

Bernie O'Hare said...

The danger of your argument is that you are enabling thieves to rip off unsuspecting users, and you are also turning a blind eye to the skimming that goes on.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing that social clubs, namely volunteer fire companies who are usually hard up for cash as it is, risk their liquor license on something a nonsensical as video poker with payouts.

How much money could they really be taking on a skim from that machine? It has to be a tiny fraction of the income they make from selling alcohol legally and the membership of people who enjoy hanging out at the bar.

PA liquor control laws are pretty draconian, petty gambling doesn't seem to win when measuring risk versus reward. Just stick to gambling on sports with offsite book makers, that's more fun anyway.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I believe it boils down to greed. The guys who operate these machines are skimming.

Bill Coker said...

9:34 As to how much money is to be made by clubs, it does not come from skimming. The club gets half and the machine owner gets half of the profit (machine takes in 200, pays out 100, 50 to club and 50 to machine owner). Actually the take amounts to approx. 7% of machine play but still adds up. Without this income and gambling board play clubs could not exist and offer low prices, etc. But remember the good clubs do with supporting fire houses, supporting charities, etc. Casino's are legal and take much more. Lottery takes even more and gives back less. Which is worse?

Bernie O'Hare said...

I'm not with you on this at all, Bill. Sorry. Skimming does occur at these social clubs. It's done by crooked stewards who are actually stealing from the nonprofits and their customers. So unless you consider a European vacation the purpose of these charities, I think you'd agree it is wrong. In addition, they cheat. I know of at least one club that set the machines so that no one could win at certain times. That would change when a favorite came. That kind of cheating is impossible at a casino, which is too heavily regulated. Another problem is the tie to organized crime. That's the source of those machines. There also seems to be a lot of drug activity at social clubs where gambling is prevalent.

I think it is a real problem. I have played football pools all my life, and never give it a second thought, but the machines have always bothered me. I support fire fighters, but not this nonsense. I spoke to a firefighter from BT who told me there are no machines there. Nor are there any in Hanover.

Finally, I have a problem with social clubs bc it is too easy for them to discriminate and get away with it.

Bill Coker said...

Bernie,

I understand where you are coming from but have a little different viewpoint. Skimming comes in with not so honest stewards or presidents of clubs. There is no way to set times of machines hitting, only percentages. Trust me on that one. They may clue certain people when machines were due to hit. Where the machines come from may be a problem, but drug use being previlant is bs. I am well versed with some of these clubs and can say with some authority that drugs are no more common than any other public gathering place.

Bill Coker said...

Bernie,

The discrimination issue I can see. Since moving to South Carolina 2 years ago, I've had more dealings with and friends with minorities than in 40 years in PA.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I envy you, especially tonight.

Anonymous said...

All gambling is, well, a GAMBLE, whether rigged or "legit" swindlers like the state lottery or Trump, Adelson, Wynn, et al. The gamblers know it and participate, of their own volition, in spite of that common knowledge. "Addicts" throw away the rent and grocery money under state sanction as,if not more, easily as they can in social clubs.

But we'll keep the social club gambling menace under control, because it feels good and the social clubs can't "contribute" or, more accurately, pay tribute to pols and their troughs the way the big boys can.

Those doughnut-eatin' Elliot Ness wannabees should be proud of their big win tonight. Proud.

-Clem

Anonymous said...

No doubt one of O'Hare's snitchers or mancrushes told him all this nonsense so of course he repeats it. Have never seen any of the nonsense he claims happens at these clubs. What a crook of crap.

Sounds like you are just angry that you can't collect on your goofy lawsuit. The hot blonde isn't giving anything to you and you can't get it. Her mother's lawyer laughs at your claims and will eat you alive in court. Huff and Puff baby, Huff and Puff.

Anonymous said...

What does that confused young woman have to do with any of this. Please leave he rout of this.

Anonymous said...

It's funny that the state rarely investigated or prosecuted clubs and machines until it got into the gambling business, itself. That's how the mafia operates. You strong-arm your competition and systematically eliminate it. If there's any crime, it's victimless. Gamblers will find a way to gamble. At a well-known club in Easton, if a wife called to complain that her husband blew his check there, the club would immediately pay the wife back and ban the sonofabitch from coming back. It was self-policing and didn't require an expensive law enforcement and criminal justice apparatus to administer. Do a few get enriched? Yes, of course. Just look at our casino operators and their patrons in Harrisburg's political class. If you like a government that will carefully wipe your ass for you, this is a good story. If you prefer government not be up your ass to protect its gambling monopoly, not so much.

Anonymous said...

Evidently, if the clubs were smart they would have been offering A-Treat sodas for gain!

My goodness. The closing of A-Treat is generating FAR more message board and blog comments than any other local, state, or national news!

America is OUTRAGED!

(think about that)

Fred Windish

Bernie O'Hare said...

6:42, You are referring to the Fleas, which was a $100 million gambling operation over ten years. It was the heart of an organized crime empire. Bootsie Shumar and Tony Hanni supplied the machines, and split the revenue with club proprietors.

The reason gambling at a casino is legal is because it is heavily regulated and taxed. It is very difficult for a casino to cheat, and government gets considerable income. In addition, some effort (admittedly feeble) is made to curb addiction.

At the clubs, there is no regulation. And yes, some of the clubs do cheat. It may not be the clubs themselves, but the persons operating the machines. Bill Coker has not seen it, and tells me that is untrue, but I know from others that it happens. Another big problem is the skimming by the machine operators. These guys are getting rich instead of the social clubs. Agents reportedly followed one of these guys home and found more money at his house. Do you honestly think he was holding money for the club at his house? No, he is a thief, and it is nearly the perfect crime bc few will rat these guys out.

I stated there is also a connection to other criminal activity, specifically drug dealing. Bill denies this and a state enforcement official tells me there is no ore drug activity at these clubs than you'll see anywhere else. So I may have that wrong. I stay away from these clubs but have heard anecdotal evidence of drug dealing that goes on there. Maybe I have that part wrong.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Sounds like you are just angry that you can't collect on your goofy lawsuit. The hot blonde isn't giving anything to you and you can't get it. Her mother's lawyer laughs at your claims and will eat you alive in court. Huff and Puff baby, Huff and Puff."

Your attitude is very unwise. You need to surrender your car immediately.

Anonymous said...

" I have played football pools all my life"

Your own words make you guilty in racketeering and you should turn yourself in as well as the bookie who is guilty of tax evasion!

Anonymous said...

"No doubt one of O'Hare's snitchers or mancrushes told him all this nonsense so of course he repeats it. Have never seen any of the nonsense he claims happens at these clubs. What a crook of crap.

Sounds like you are just angry that you can't collect on your goofy lawsuit. The hot blonde isn't giving anything to you and you can't get it. Her mother's lawyer laughs at your claims and will eat you alive in court. Huff and Puff baby, Huff and Puff."


Hopped up on a double shot of hot cocoa in the middle of the night? Worried about being seen in the RAV4? Fork it over to the authorities before you find yourself in deeper trouble. Your bill is past due, sweetie. Read em and weep. Any idiot can see you're just bitter that you were found guilty of defamation.

Your ravings about what is reported here are in stark contrast to reality. But that isn't surprising, based on what you've been writing on your blog about OOR decisions you claim you won but lost, and similarly decisions others won and you claim they lost.

Newsflash sweetie - stop referring to yourself as "hot". Your looks are average for 50 years old, and the hatred and venom you exude make you far uglier than average.

Anonymous said...

obsessed lunatic cant go one day without ranting about about west easton....your blog has become a seething hate frenzy all about Trish.....cyberstalking is a crime asshole

you'd be better off accepting the facts that she discovered what a whacko you are and had to cut off all ties.

your obsession is frightening and unlike any other psycho with crush...you were DUMPED

Bernie O'Hare said...

This post has nothing to do with Mezzacappa, but she had to post the very first comment. One of her usual personal attacks is rebutted by me and others, and now she comes on to claim falsely that I have an obsession. While I have no obsession, I do have a judgment. You need to surrender your car immediately. Contrary to what you think, this is no game.

Jimmy Bob BOBO Bickens said...

I know for a fact that a certain Catholic social has done the same thing, I guess they get a pass on this.

Bernie O'Hare said...

If you're referring to the one in Nazareth, it has been raided by the PSP in the past. If it has begun again, it will be raised again. Nobody is giving Catholic social clubs a pass,despite what your anti-Catholic bias leads you to believe.

Anonymous said...

MezzaCrazy, go after your ex-lover in his admittance in gambling as stated above!

Bring em all down!

Anonymous said...

There are no machines at HFC. Not one. It's also non-smoking with decent food.

Jimmy Bob BOBO Bickens said...

Bernie: I am FAR from A Catholic hater. As a Christian, that would be wrong, and i am just not like that. Dont jump to conclusions. I understand you get attacked all the time but try to not be so freaking sensitive.I did not know it was raided.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Fair enough. I am actually fairly insensitive. Holy Family was hit awhile back, and removed it's machines. If they've been brought back, it will get hit again.

Bernie O'Hare said...

12:08, I have been there for a few political events. I hear the food is quite good.

Anonymous said...

"obsessed lunatic cant go one day without ranting about about west easton....your blog has become a seething hate frenzy all about Trish.....cyberstalking is a crime asshole

you'd be better off accepting the facts that she discovered what a whacko you are and had to cut off all ties.

your obsession is frightening and unlike any other psycho with crush...you were DUMPED"

Take some medication, please. You're close to going over the edge. It would take a load off if you just pay your debt to Bernie and get it over with. You were held accountable. You can post here 5 times a day that Bernie is obsessed with you, but nobody believes you. The simple fact is, you defamed him, and you won't pay the lawful judgment rendered against you.

If you believe a judge is going to look favorably upon you thumbing your nose at the law, you are wrong. And neither will West Easton voters, if you actually plan to move forward with that ill-conceived plan. Do you honestly believe anyone wants you on council, after you were found guilty of harassing a West Easton employee while she was on the job? And you wish that the council president were drowned?

The question that should be asked is why YOU come HERE every day and night, posting about your "manslab" to drive people to your useless blog, and while here taunt Bernie? And why did you defame him, as determined in a court of law? You're all twisted around, like a pretzel. Get a grip on yourself.

Anonymous said...

One wonders why "Trish" as she refers to herself, didn't enlist a lawyer in her defense of the defamation lawsuit, but rather hid in her house on the day of an important hearing and was a no-show. She brags about her legal prowess, yet blew off the most important hearing of her life.

Now she is bragging about the lawyer her mother has to hire because she fraudulently transferred her house to her to shelter her assets, immediately after the judgment was rendered against her.

Do you think she has apologized to her mother for dragging her into the legal mess she created herself?

Anonymous said...

the government takes their share of my money in the form of taxes.. I should be able to spend the rest any way I like! If thats in the form of these machines or sports betting its my money i should do what ever i want with it

Anonymous said...

There are drugs in the clubs, Bernie you have gotten the whole story right. The problem is, some people look the other way while the drugs are being passed around or the deals are being done at the pool table or the lady wearing a jacket with pockets into the club on a hot summer day and every transaction happens by someone putting their hand into her one pocket for the cash and the other for the dope. So if anyone wants to say this doesn't happen, it does. You just have to be aware of your surroundings.

Celtic Warrior said...

This story illustrates why Jim Gregory only plays Texas Holdem vs other people, he's not dumb enough to try and take down the house. There is a Robert Redford movie Jim mentioned on his show, great film basically it talks about poker being a game of skill which is spot on.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Check out this link that discusses how club stewards alter the machines to make sure they win for some and lose for others.

I realize these are major gathering places in many communities. I am sure most of them are run as honestly as a place that violates our laws can be. But there are those who use to prey on people and enrich themselves by skimming. Some do it for decades without ever getting caught.

http://articles.philly.com/2015-01-05/news/57668771_1_poker-machines-gambling-machines-gambling-device

Anonymous said...

you managed to bastardize the court system to suit yourself. My guess is the judges decided that even a louse deserves to win one time...you paid a lot of money for a one-time headline in the news.

Face facts, you will never see a penny of that judgement. The circle of corruption only hits lucky once a day. Take that word of advice and stop making such as ass out of yourself.

Better yet, get a job so you dont look like a serial fraud....and tell your buddy Angle to do the same.

Anonymous said...

Lots of snow and tonight we'll have ice. I'm grateful I own a four wheel drive vehicle, and I can use it when I want to.

Bill Coker said...

Bernie,

That link basically describes how a poker machine can be altered to be like a pin ball machine. Any practiced player can win. However not poker machine will pay off more 100%. All will make a profit. Any skimming takes place after that. Owner of the machine won't skim, that money is his. Only skim would be on the club side by dishonest president or stewart. If the machine owner pays income taxes, he's fine with the government. Club side is the problem if one exists.

Pipeline Guy said...

Bernie,

As a non-native, I don't have the connections to be a member of one of these fancy schmanzy "clubs" but I have been a guest at a few in Bethlehem city. One thing comes to my mind - do they get some kind of tax break due to non-profit status that allows them to sell booze for so cheap? Are they exempt from the Johnstown Flood 18% tax and/or sales tax on the booze? If they don't get a break on that, I don't understand how they are sustainable.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Many of them struggle. They do get some breaks as nonprofits but I do not believe they have exempt assessments, or that they get any break on sales. But what goes on at some of these clubs (it may be isolated or the norm) is theft. Unlike casinos, there is no accountability to the state.

Ovem Lupo Commitere said...

"Unlike casinos, there is no accountability to the state."

I don't fit neatly into any political party nor ideology. On this one I find myself in the very rare position of feeling a little libertarian and wondering what the big deal is other than the government isn't getting their share. Understand, I am not a gambler. Or should I say, I am a very very cheap one? (I'll play 1 powerball and 1 megamillion and that's it.) I've never been to Sands after all these years, don't play poker, and personally feel that gambling is throwing your money away and should only be done with truly disposable money for the fun of it. But, I understand that just like the gov't (aka, the lottery) makes money off this vice, so do many of these social clubs. THE only reason the gov't cares about these things is not because they care that some fools will loose too much, but that they aren't getting their share. Quite honestly, PA should just legalize these operations and tax it, rather than spend money trying to shut down what it otherwise hypocritically allows with the lottery and casinos...either be consistent and say that freewill gambling is immoral and illegal (thus, shutting down the lottery, casinos, and the "games" I recall from the church of my youth's "bazaar"), or just legalize, regulate, and tax the winnings.

Dual messages from the government on this one: gambling is OK (and encouraged with commercials) only if the government gets its share...otherwise its immoral and needs to be shut down by the PSP.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Ovem, I have no strong feelings on gambling. My only real concerns are skimming and lack of accountability. When the state regulates gambling at a casino, it derives income and protects consumers. At the social clubs, I'd like to see more accountability . I'd rather see the state take it from these clubs than raise taxes.

Ovem Lupo Commitere said...

Sounds like we are close enough on the same page... basically just legalize these things so you can regulate and tax rather than picking your winners and losers (who gets to run gambling and who doesn't). If there is "skimming", well if its a legalized operation, now you have embezzlement. KISS...Keep It Simple Stupid... legalize, regulate, tax and all are happy enough.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Agreed. I'd legalize, regulate and tax it if I were King. Same for marijuana and sexual service vendors.

Anonymous said...

Why do matty and Bernie's other homo friends constantly attack Trisha. Are they that desperate to kiss Bernie's ass. You all hate strong young women that much. You boys are pathetic.

Why should she surrender anything. It doesn't sound like you intimidate her one bit. Also why should taxpayers care about your silly judgment. You want her stuff go get it. It is not the taxpayer funded courts responsibility to pay people to get it for you.

This is really pathetic.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Go away, Henry Schaadt. Incidentally, your constant references to homosexuality make clear that is what you are, and you hate yourself because of it.

Anonymous said...

I think Trish is on to something.

Anonymous said...

Holy Family hasn't had machines in many years. You can verify this with Judge and Mrs. Dally. The false accuser does hate Catholics. Why else would one make such a scurrilous charge with absolutely no proof? People who make sure you know they're Christian usually aren't in practice.

Anonymous said...

"I think Trish is on to something."

You got that almost right - it should read "I think Trish is on something."

Here is a woman with no respect for the law, no respect for people, and she's running for election. She's a menace to her fellow citizens, and needs to be stopped.

Anonymous said...

"Why do matty and Bernie's other homo friends constantly attack Trisha"

You are misinterpreting the dialog here. Bernie, for his part, has been very professional and patient. "Trisha", as you affectionately refer to this twisted vindictive woman, comes here are deposits her crap, and all Bernie does is say "you need to turn that vehicle in" - and he is correct. It was lawfully levied, and she is thumbing her nose at the law.

Yet she continues making excuses for why she won't follow the law. And you know what? Law abiding citizens see it as very wrong that this old hag finds good sport in libeling and harassing people, and then flaunting her disrespect for the law.

That is the crux of the matter. Bernie could easily delete your comment - but you're such an ignorant twit he leaves it here for all to see your foolishness.

Legal battles are won in court - not a war of words on a blog. "Trisha" will pay the price for ignoring the law - it is just a matter of time. And when they come after her, you can bet she'll have a box of excuses waiting.

If you think matty and Bernie's homo friends are going away and let this woman trample on people's rights and the law, think again.

Anonymous said...

If Bernie has homo friends (who are they), does that make him a homo as well? Not that it matters.

Bill Coker said...

Bernie,

Hate to beat a dead horse but what you call skimming is really the clubs profit from gambling. That's what supports the fire houses, etc. and allows the club to charge low prices (in essence giving the profit to the members). Most clubs have creative bookkeeping that allows the LCB to examine the books and still have the money look legit. I'll admit some clubs have less than honest stewards or presidents and there is where the problem skimming comes in. But by far most clubs are well run and the money goes to a good cause.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Bill, I don't consider the money going to the club skimming. I have talking about several stewards at several clubs who become very wealthy by taking the income for themselves. Because the club is breaking the law, it is often reluctant to turn on these thieves.

Anonymous said...

"If Bernie has homo friends (who are they), does that make him a homo as well? Not that it matters."

Try to rise above the irresistible temptation to be an immature offensive ass.

Peter J.Cochran said...

Bernie, the new rules say that a percentage of the profits from 'games of chance'must be donated to a legitimate charity. The LCB will be looking at this . The rules have changed back and forth but the LCB will get you if your not in compliance. The LCB is a branch of the Pennsylvania State Police. Then the 'operators ' that collect the cash will be subject to IRS rules and undeclared income in this is both fraternal and individual .

Danny D said...

Anonymous said...

God dam it 😈 now we know why the chief cupcake &mayor Dinkle pussy are protecting each other. Now is the time for a government agency to investigate both chief cupcake and council and mayor Dinkle pussy.let's jail all council members and mayor Dinkle pussy and let's not forget that piece of shit 💩 chief Yosemite Sam /cupcake we demand government officials look into this. Think about it ❔ Why is Dinkle pussy always backing up chief Yosemite Sam /cupcake. Because cupcake is covering up. Could be a little kick back 😜

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:08 and you think people will elect you to town council? Grow the Hell up. Or go cash another stolen check.