Timothy Surgen, resident of Kent, Florida, faces more than 100 charges for his alleged possession of slot machines and for operating the said pieces of casino equipment within his Treasure Island Arcade, Black Beards Super Game Room, and Games N More adult arcade establishments. The alleged illegal operations were conducted through his company, Surgen Enterprises LLC.
The allegations against Surgen include accusations of money laundering for over $100,000, as well as 120 counts of unlawful possession of a slot machine and two counts of keeping a gambling house. The defendant pleaded not guilty on all 100+ counts.
The Ohio Secretary of State’s website shows that Surgen’s company, Surgen Enterprises LLC, was established in 2012 in the state. The said year also saw him creating an Akron-based tanning salon. Surgen Enterprises LLC was moved to Florida six years later, and in 2019, Surgen opened the Treasure Island Arcade, which had 50 arcade machines, according to his business application. Games N More and Black Beards Super Game Room were both opened in 2022, with the latter closing in 2023. The two locations had included over 40 arcade machines combined before Beards Super Game Room’s closure, according to Surgen’s listings.
All establishments were supposed to house ordinary arcade machines, but Florida authorities allege that the retail venues were instead used for the operation of illegal slot machines.
The Palm Beach County’s Office Has Been Investigating Surgen’s Adult Arcade Locations for Months
The accusations follow a thorough investigation by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. The operation was conducted due to a complaint filed in 2022 that concerned illegal gambling. Between November 2022 and September 2023, Palm Beach authorities organized eight undercover operations that uncovered the activities that took place at all three of Surgen’s adult arcade establishments.
At Games N More and Treasure Island Arcade, agents found around 60 slot machines. The said pieces of equipment were found to be illegal after Palm Beach authorities tested the machines with a budget of $580. The slots awarded the investigators with cashout tickets, and the purpose of the said tickets was for patrons to exchange them for cash and gift cards. Another concerning detail about Surgen’s venues has to do with the fact that each location was protected by armed security guards.
In the end, Surgen was found to have leveraged Surgen Enterprises LLC in order to earn around $304,000 from illegal gambling operations, with $140,000 of the said sum being laundered. The rest of the funds were utilized to finance the continued operation of the adult arcades.
In Florida, the operation of cash-based slot machines which reward players with money is against the law. The only types of retail casino locations that are considered legal are tribal gambling establishments, with the Miccosukee Tribe being in charge of the Miccosukee Casino & Resort, while the Seminole Tribe operates multiple land-based casinos.
The law has not yet expanded to other forms of casino businesses, and Florida authorities have been cracking down on casino operations masked as adult arcade businesses. Besides Surgen’s case, this October also saw the arrest of two individuals who owned 20 illegal slot machines that were operated within the owners’ Beach Side Social Club arcade.