Man ran illegal gambling operation at Palm Beach Co. arcade, arrest report says

Published: Jul. 6, 2022 at 2:21 PM EDT
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A West Virginia man is under arrest and facing dozens of charges after authorities said he was running an illegal gambling operation at an arcade near Boynton Beach.

According to his arrest report, Antonio Magnone, 35, of Weirton, West Virginia, was the former owner of Crowne Arcade, located at 8890 Lawrence Road.

On Nov. 8, 2021, the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office received a complaint about illegal gambling at the arcade and started an investigation.

Through a series of undercover trips to the arcade in January, March, and May of this year, sheriff's office investigators found more than 30 illegal "Las Vegas style video slot machines" that paid "cash prizes" to winners, according to Magnone's arrest report.

The sheriff's office said the slot machines "required no skill from the user but instead relied upon chance or luck as to whether money was gained or lost."

Each machine featured "Match Play," meaning the arcade would put an additional $10 of "house money" into a machine when a customer would bet $10.

Customers would play the machines and print a cashout ticket once they were done. They would then be paid in cash for the amount of money on the ticket.

According to the investigation, patrons could win up to $10,000 at "big money" machines inside the arcade.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office said the Crowne Arcade was previously raided by Broward County detectives on March 18, 2021, and Magnone's brother, Vincenzo Magnone, 38, was arrested for multiple charges, including bookmaking and keeping a gambling house.

During that investigation, the Broward Sheriff's Office said Vincenzo Magnone used the Crowne Arcade to "facilitate illegal bookmaking and gambling operations, while providing the guise of a legitimate business."

The sheriff's office added that during the raid, the business' manager, Marquita Margadonna, 66, admitted she was aware of the "illegal bookmaking and gambling operations."

Palm Beach County investigators executed a new search warrant at the arcade on June 6, where Margadonna told authorities that customers would be "paid in cash" after presenting a cashout ticket from a slot machine.

Margadonna added that following the March 2021 raid and Vincenzo Magnone's subsequent arrest, Magnone had "kept his distance from the arcade" and Antonio Magnone had taken over the arcade's operation.

On June 8, sheriff's office investigators learned that Vincenzo and Antonio Magnone had sold the Crowne Arcade to Anjaneya Investments Inc. for $450,000.

"Antonio was very motivated in selling the Arcade very quickly and the deal had to be done immediately," according to his arrest report.

The business has since been renamed Game X Arcade, and a sign out front reads "Under New Management & Owner."

Antonio Magnone was booked into the Palm Beach County Jail just after midnight Wednesday on 31 counts of unlawful possession of a slot machine device, along with money laundering, keeping a gambling house, and being an agent or employee of a gambling house.

In court Wednesday, a judge set Magnone's bond at $15,000 and allowed him to travel to West Virginia.

Margadonna was arrested following the June 6 raid on charges of unlawful possession of a slot machine device, money laundering, keeping a gambling house, and being an agent or employee of a gambling house. She has since bonded out of jail.

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