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Inside look at illegal gambling ring that shutdown 15 internet cafes on the First Coast

11:46 PM, Mar 12, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- First Coast News has been given an inside look at the Allied Veterans of the World by a man who said he used to work at the Westside location of Allied Veterans of the World cafe.

According to a law enforcement source, all Allied Veterans of the World cafes in the state of Florida have been shut down due to an investigation into an estimated $300 million illegal gambling ring.

Many store managers, assistants and major owners of the 50 locations were arrested. 15 locations are on the First Coast.

"My job mainly consists of taking care of the clientele make sure they stay in their seats and have money at all times," said Erit Davis.

Davis said he was initially hired to work and cover employees while they took vacation at the Jacksonville Blanding Boulevard location but it became his full-time employment from February to July 2011.

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"You see people coming in and their husbands are overseas working for us protecting us and their wives are in there Filipino, Spanish, White spending their husbands money and losing," said Davis.

Davis, who showed First Coast News a packet of documents, including what he said were his pay stubs, mentioned there was a strict policy when addressing gambling questions.

People would ask, "'How do I gamble, how does this work?' And you immediately tell them 'it's not gambling it's gaming.' You're not supposed to say cashed in, you're supposed to say redeem your points, not your cash or money."

Davis added if you don't follow the protocol, it's automatic dismissal, information that goes hand in hand with the Business Center Description for Employees.

The employee handbook was seized on a search warrant. The handbook says: "Employees will not regard the business as a gambling establishment. The words gambling, casino, bet, payout, cash out or anything similar will not be used at the work place."

"They would explain in different ways and refer me back to the pamphlet and that's why and that's how you say it but if you asked too many questions, you were not welcomed there," said Davis.

Shortly after this interview with Davis, he called First Coast News to say he received a phone call from someone claiming to be with "Allied" advising him it would be in his best interest not to speak or say anything to reporters.

First Coast News

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