Bar owner fined for having two video slot machines


A New Windsor bar owner was fined $2,000 for possession of two electronic video slot machines yesterday, but a Carroll County judge declined to impose a jail sentence, which prosecutors requested.

Circuit Judge Raymond E. Beck Sr. said he would not make defendant Henry F. "Fred" Ross a test case.

"A maximum fine is appropriate in this case," Beck said.

Ross, owner of New Windsor Inn, was convicted by a jury Oct. 2 on two counts of allowing video machines that had been altered for gambling purposes to be used at his establishment.

Stephen R. Tully, a Baltimore lawyer representing Ross, told Beck that his client had no previous criminal record and accepts the jury's verdict.

"My client will never allow video machines in his establishment again," Tully said.

Prosecutor Jerry Joyce argued that, based on estimates by federal and state investigators, Ross earned $35,000 a year under the table from the two slot machines. Joyce said that imposing a fine with no jail sentence would send a weak message to others who run illegal slots.

State's Attorney Jerry F. Barnes said yesterday that his office will "continue to react, investigate and prosecute" those who seek to profit from video gambling devices.

Barnes said he hoped the county liquor board would take advantage of recent modifications in its ordinances and "strongly consider" additional sanctions against bar owners who are convicted of allowing slot machines.

Pub Date: 12/12/96

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