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Merrimack Billiards Raided for Poker Machines

Merrimack Billiards Owner Ed Mosher arrested on charges of operating illegal poker machines at the pool hall.


Merrimack Billiards Raided for Poker Machines

Merrimack Billiards Raided for Poker Machines

According to the New Hampshire Union, Merrimack Billiards was raided on July 13, 2007 based on a tip that they were operating illegal poker and gaming machines.

Undercover police executed a raid at a pool hall yesterday and arrested the owner on felony charges of secretly operating two poker machines at the store.

Edward Mosher, 51, of 98 Turgeon Ave., Dracut, Mass., the owner of New Hampshire's Merrimack Billiards, was arrested on felony charges, punishable by from 1 1/2 to six years in prison.

The raid stems from a nine-month investigation, police said. Undercover officers learned that Merrimack customers were putting money into poker machines and scoring points that were tallied by employees and earned the players' cash, police said.

"Customers were basically able to play the machines and rack up points that were reimbursed by employees' for cash," said Lieutenant Peter Albert.

Albert said the department learned about the situation from an anonymous tip to the crime line.

Police confiscated $10,000 in cash from the pool hall yesterday, found in drawers and cubbies that undercover officers allege they saw gambling money kept. The two poker machines each contained about $1,000, Albert said.

Police are continuing the investigation, he said.

Albert said state law forbids the use of poker machines for profiteering, and punishment for breaking the law is generally directed at the operators of such machines. Police could charge patrons of the gambling machines, although it is unlikely, he said.

The pool hall was occupied by a single patron and an employee yesterday, neither of whom wanted to comment on the charges. The structure includes several pool tables, video games and a bar.

Mosher was placed on $25,000 bail and will be arraigned Tuesday at Merrimack District Court, police said. Merrimack police and the New Hampshire Liquor Enforcement Bureau will continue to investigate.

The allure to go against state gaming regulation can be very strong. We've spoken to many cue sport industry insiders who say that poker machines are the only way that many pool hall owners make any money at all. One said they'd have had to close within a month of opening were it not for the revenue those machines generated.

With Merrimack Billiards' nearly $4000 per month lease payment, it's easy to see how they could have a hard time without the additional revenue bought in by machine gambling.

But in the end, if state law prohibits it, one ought not take the risk.

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  • Title: Merrimack Billiards Raided for Poker Machines
  • Author: (Billiards Forum)
  • Published: 8/1/2006 2:59:59 PM
  • Last Updated: 2/22/2019 3:23:37 PM
  • Last Updated By: billiardsforum

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