The board suspended the license for 30 days and fined them $1,000. Gatton has 10 days to pay the fine, and the ruling can be appealed to the St. Mary’s County Circuit Court within 30 days.
An investigation was initiated on January 23, 2015 when detectives visited the Brass Rail Sports Bar located in Great Mills,to investigate the presence of additional gaming devices that were being operated by Roger Benfield.
Investigators made contact with Charles Benedict “Dickie” Gatton and Hilda Mae Gatton who own and operate the establishment. The investigators also discovered the presence of five (5) gaming devices. An inspection of the devices revealed four of the devices operated in the same manner as the devices located in the Patuxent Moose Lodge and one device that functioned as a pull-tab vending machine, both of which are gaming devices.
The investigation revealed, in 2008 Charles “Dickie” Gatton entered into an agreement with the Leonardtown Lions Club that permitted a gaming device to be placed inside the Brass Rail Sports Bar and the proceeds from the gaming device to be divided evenly between the Leonardtown Lions Club and the Brass Rail Sports Bar. The device, which was the previously described pull-tab vending machine, was managed exclusively by Hilda Mae Gatton and required her, among other tasks, to collect money from the device and ensure the proper disbursement to the Leonardtown Lions Club and to the Brass Rails Sports Bar.
The investigation also revealed that in January of 2012 Roger Benfield and Charles “Dickie” Gatton entered into an agreement that permitted Roger Benfield to place four (4) gaming devices inside the establishment and required Roger Benfield to manage the devices, which included collecting money from the devices and ensuring the proper disbursement to the Brass Rail Sports Bar and R.E. Benfield Enterprises, Incorporated.
During the course of the investigation several search and seizure warrants were obtained which lead to the seizure of gaming devices and more than $129,000.00 in cash from proceeds of the gaming devices in the possession of Charles (Dickie) and Hilda Mae Gatton.
Roger Benfield was charged with one count of having an interest in a gaming table, one count of keeping a gaming table at the Brass Rail Sports Bar, and one count of perpetrating a theft scheme having a value more than $100,000.00. Charles “Dickie” Gatton was charged with one count of having an interest in a gaming table, one count of permitting a gaming table to be kept at the Brass Rail, and one count of perpetrating a theft scheme having a value between $10,000.00 and $100,000.00. Hilda Mae Gatton was charged with one count of having an interest in a gaming table and one count of perpetrating a theft scheme having a value between $10,000.00 and $100,000.00.
In total, the gaming devices at the Brass Rail Sports Bar alone generated more than $300,000.00 in gross proceeds, of which the Leonardtown Lions Club received only $60,000.00. By law, all of the proceeds must be directed to the charity.