Poker nights at the Fraternal Order of Eagles 3512 Charity Gaming Nights on Fort Wayne's northwest side are a thing of the past after the Indiana Gaming Commission shut down the charity gambling organization Friday.
Rob Townsend, the state gaming commission's superintendent of law enforcement, said the raid at 1820 W. Washington Center Road was carried out with the assistance of the Indiana State Police. The Allen County Prosecutor's Office is a partner in an ongoing criminal investigation, Townsend said.
In a letter Friday to the Fraternal Order of Eagles 3512, the commission said gaming licenses were suspended for "committing conduct prejudicial to public confidence in the Commission."
The gaming commission's investigation alleges violations of state laws involving:
- Gambling. The document doesn't specify what part of the Indiana Code that defines different forms of gambling was violated.
- Security. The law says the organization "may not employ more than three nonmember Indiana law enforcement officers or private detectives properly licensed in Indiana to perform security services during an allowable event."
- Allowable expenses. Net proceeds can only be used for the "lawful purposes of the qualified organization," the law states.
Around 2 p.m. Friday, patrons were turned away from the establishment. One man who asked not to be identified but who said he'd been involved in the Fort Wayne gambling community for 20 to 25 years, said people had come to cash in their poker chips and were referred to the Allen County Prosecutor's Office.
Jenny Reske, the gaming commission's deputy director, said records obtained from the charity gambling group indicated that revenues for the fiscal year ending July 30 were about $4.6 million. Of that amount, $17,000 went to charity, she added.
According to documents provided by the gaming commission, the principal operator or manager of the charity gaming events is Caream Kamide. Other operators on the list were Ashley Stabler and Ryan Gladieux.
The Fraternal Order of Eagles Lodge is at 2730 Lofty Drive and operates as a nonprofit club. The Lofty Drive address was not raided.
A letter with Friday's date was sent to the Lofty Drive address from the gaming commission stating that two licenses for the gaming operations were being suspended: annual charity game night and annual raffle licenses.
State law allows charities to apply for charity gaming licenses, but the charity nights or events cannot be on consecutive days, Reske said.
Last year, 3,730 licenses were approved to charitable organizations for gaming licenses and nearly half a billion dollars was raised, Reske said. That number also includes organizations that conduct one raffle a year.
According to the Fraternal Order of Eagles 3512's annual license financial report received July 10, the gaming arm of the Eagles held 150 gaming events during the fiscal year, with an average attendance of 85 people.
The West Washington Center Road operation offers blackjack, roulette, craps, and three- and four-card poker in tournaments and cash games, according to the sign out front.
When asked how much of the proceeds went to charity, Reske said the organizations are "charitable organizations themselves. They are permitted to retain their revenues to support their organization. If they provide distributions to other organizations, they provide that list to us."
A call to the Fraternal Order of Eagles 3512 Lodge was not returned Friday.
At a glance
These organizations each received $500 last year, according to a document provided to the Journal Gazette, except for Faith United Presbyterian Food Bank and Community Care, which received $1,000 each.
World Baseball Association
Big Turkey Lake Improvement Association
Indiana Honor Flight
Fort Wayne Police Athletic League
Ivy Tech Foundation
Blessings in a Backpack
Women's Care Center
Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana
American Heart Association
Long Term Care of Northeast Indiana
Whitley County Humane Society
United Faith Presbyterian Food Bank
Mt. Etna Volunteer Fire Deptartment
New Haven K-9 Fund
American Diabetes Association
Allen County SPCA
HOPE for Animals
Dress for Success
Fort Wayne Rugby Club
Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
New Covenant Worship Center
Wabash Little League
Advance Rome City
Fort Wayne Youtheatre