Crime

Bradenton lounge owner, bartender charged with running illegal slots

MANATEE -- A local bar owner and bartender were arrested as part of an uncover operation cracking down on illegal slot machines.

Agents with the Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco went undercover at the Oasis Lounge, 6006 Manatee Ave. W. in Bradenton multiple times between Aug. 22 and Sept. 27 and reportedly played numerous illegal gambling casino-style slot machines.

Brenda Cays, 68, and Caitlyn Clenney, 28, were arrested Friday as a result of the investigation.

Cays, owner of Oasis, is charged with keeping a gaming house and possession of slot machines.

Clenney, a bartender at Oasis, is charged with being an employee of keeper of a gaming house.

In 2013, Gov. Rick Scott signed the Prohibition of Electronic Gaming Devices bill into law, which made it illegal for adults to receive cash prizes for playing arcade games and banned all electronic casino lookalikes.

Throughout their undercover investigation, agents witnessed four cash payouts given for winnings earned on the slot machines, according to a search warrant affidavit. Cays was present on multiple occasions when agents received payouts, accord

ing to the report.

Cays and Clenney were arrested as a result of a warrant signed by Circuit Judge Edward Nicholas on Oct. 8. Two other bartenders who also gave the agents cash payouts were not charged. A spokeswoman for the division said she could not reveal why they had not been arrested.

The warrant affidavit details what led to the arrests.

On Sept. 27, undercover agents with the Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco went into the Oasis Longue and began playing the illegal casino-style gambling slot machines, according to arrest reports.

One agent received a ticket for his winnings and presented it to Clenney, who then paid him $11 in cash. The other agent also received a winning ticket and received a cash payout for $23 from a different bartender.

On Aug. 22 and Sept. 4, respectively, agents also went to the bar and earned winnings paid out in cash by a third bartender.

Cays was released from the Manatee County jail on bonds totaling $1,620 and Clenney was released on a $1,500 bond.

Cays has no prior arrests in Manatee County.

Clenney's prior arrests include solicitation to sell Oxycodone, child neglect, violation of probation and domestic battery.

Jessica De Leon, Herald law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter @JDeLeon1012.

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