By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun
9:53 PM EDT, July 7, 2011
Baltimore County police raided Minnick's Restaurant in Dundalk, owned by Del. Joseph J. "Sonny" Minnick, and seized five electronic gaming devices, according to a police spokeswoman.
Police removed the machines from the bar at 7100 Sollers Point Road on June 29, acting on a complaint received by the liquor board, police spokeswoman Detective Cathy Batton confirmed. She said no charges have been filed.
Michael Mohler, chief administrator for the Board of Liquor License Commissioners, said the agency received an anonymous complaint that the bar "has been paying off on poker machines and has been for years."
He said the agency received the complaint May 13 and sent it to the Police Department for investigation. The liquor board would not be involved again unless the matter comes back to the board for action on the liquor license, which would happen if there's a conviction in this case, Mohler said.
He said the liquor license is in the name of Joseph J. Minnick, Daniel Minnick and a third person, whose name he could not remember as he did not have the documents at hand.
The raid was first reported by the news website Essex-Middle River Patch.
No other complaints have ever been made against the establishment, Mohler said. "Their file is clean and clear," he said.
Calls to Minnick's Restaurant and Delegate Minnick's home were not returned Thursday night.
In a 2008 Sun article, Minnick told a reporter that he was against the announcement of a broad crackdown on video poker machines by Comptroller Peter Franchot.
The tax collector's office planned to use its authority to enforce alcohol laws to pressure liquor-license holders to get rid of the "for-amusement-only" devices that he says are mostly operated as illegal slot machines.
Minnick told a Sun reporter then that he pays hundreds of dollars a year in licensing fees for each game machine and taxes on the income they produce. "If they weren't legal, why would Baltimore County require a license to have them in your establishment?" Minnick said. He said the bar doesn't make "payouts."
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