New Kensington business owner to face gambling device charges

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New Kensington, Pa. – Pennsylvania State Police Liquor Enforcement Officer David Pavshak filed misdemeanor gambling charges against a Lower Burrell man after a July 29th, 2017 investigation at Buffalo Bills Roadhouse located at 2301 Freeport Road in New Kensington.

Charged in the incident was William Callahan, age 75 of Lower Burrell. Callahan will face charges of M1 Gambling Devices, M1 Allow Gambling and M1 Gambling/Allow On Premises.

According to the Affidavit of Probable Cause: Officer Pavshak said he and Leo Learn entered the subject premises at 2301 Freeport Road (AKA Buffalo Bills Roadhouse) in New Kensington on Saturday July 29, 2017.

Officer Pavshak and Learn sat at the bar area for approximately 25 minutes and asked a male employee if he was able to get into the back room to play the machines. Officer Pavshak then asked the employee who would be able to help him out if he hit on the machine. The employee then pointed to a a female bartender and said she will take care of you. Officer Pavshak then proceeded to the back room with Leo Learn and observed two video slot poker machines.

Officer Pavshak then inserted one $20 bill into the Fruit Bonus 2006 video slot machine and received 400 credits. Officer Pavshak played the machine and eventually accumulated 401 credits which would equal $20 US dollars. Officer Pavshak then departed the back room to the bar area to notify the bartender he needed her help with the machine.

The bartender was then informed that 401 credits is $20. The bartender then departed to the back room and came back inside the machine room. She then went into a file cabinet which was located behind the machines and retrieved a folded stack of money from the top drawer and took one $20 bill from the stack and gave it to Officer Pavshak. The bartender was thanked as she departed the room and was asked if she wanted to clear the points off of the machine so that nobody else can play his points.

The bartender stated that she would clear them off later. Observing no further violations, Officer Pavshak said he and Leo Learn departed the premises at 10:30 pm with 12 patrons remaining.

On January 10th 2018, a search warrant was served on Buffalo Bills Roadhouse. Officers conducted an external inspection of these machines and found the following characteristics of video gambling devices pur se.

A. All machines required a consideration to play
b. All machines are a game of chance and required no skill to play.
c. All machines offered an award of additional credits for a winning combination of numbers, fruits, or symbols as typical in a video slot machine.
d. All machines had knock-off devices to clear credits from the machine. The knockoff devices on the New Fruit Bonus 2006 VSM machine was activated by bolt heads located on the right side of the case and completing a circuit with a metal object. The knock-off devices on the Super Draw Joker Poker VPM was a button combination.

Officer Pavshak said due to the above characteristics of video gambling devices per se, the machines were seized. While executing the search warrant, Callahan, the owner of Buffalo Bills Roadhouse was interviewed and related that the gambling machines maintained at the premises for around 3-4 years and that the split on the devices is 60/40 and that that they pay out on the gambling machines.

Items seized from the warrant were 1-Super Draw Joker Poker VPM, and 1 Fruit Bonus 2006 VSM and $500 US dollars from the payout bag.

Callahan faces a Preliminary Hearing on 04/05/2018 @ 11:00 am Magisterial District Judge Frank J. Pallone Jr.