Illegal Online Gambling Cafe in Georgia Stole $3 Million From GA Residents

By Debra SaundersGoogle

On Tuesday, James Kokott, the owner of Big Dawg Calling Cards in Georgia was arrested on racketeering charges when authorities raided seven long distance calling card stores in the state. Big Dawg managed seven cafes, in Doraville, Douglasville, LaGrange, Albany and Conyers, and two in Columbus.  The stores were covers for illegal online casino games cafes.

The indictment accuses Kokott and two of his partners of creating the business in an effort to circumvent state laws prohibiting online casino games sites. Authorities stated that the three pocketed more than $3 million in the last year alone.

Georgia Bureau of Investigation Spokesman John Bankhead commented, “Gov. Deal directed the GBI to start investigations into Internet cafes to try to get a handle on it before it got out of control. As part of the investigations, they would send an undercover agent into the (seven) locations and play the games.”

Bankhead went on to say that forty-three GBI agents, working with local law enforcement, were involved in the Kokott operation in five different counties throughout Georgia.  Bankhead continued, “We have been addressing the Internet cafe problem. Gov. Deal had directed the GBI several months back to start looking into the proliferation of Internet cafes.”

Patrons of the calling card stores were told they had to play the sweepstakes to buy the cards. They would put money on the cards to use in gambling machines and would use their winnings by redeeming them for cash, which is against the laws of the State.

DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James stated, “These perpetrators lined their pockets with the hard-earned dollars of everyday citizens under the false pretense of a legitimate lottery and sweepstakes.”


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