Landlords warned about gaming gangs

PUB landlords are warned to be vigilant as gangs are back targeting fruit machines and fleecing them of cash.Michael Collins, of P J McGinty and Sons said four premises in the town were hit over the last few days by small groups fiddling the machines or finding fail safe ways to beat them.

PUB landlords are warned to be vigilant as gangs are back targeting fruit machines and fleecing them of cash.

Michael Collins, of P J McGinty and Sons said four premises in the town were hit over the last few days by small groups fiddling the machines or finding fail safe ways to beat them.

The group work in small gangs with mobile phones and are familiar with the workings of the gaming machines.

Mr Collins, chairman of Pubwatch which links around 40 pubs in the town, was targeted by a gang six months ago. The fraudsters struck again over the weekend and he lost £400.

"I just want other licensees to be on their guard at all the premises in the town because they are back," he said.

"They worked in a gang of three – two on mobile telephones. You can see what they are doing. They give themselves away because normally if they win say £60 they ask to change it into notes. But these get their money and run out."

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Licensing officer, Bob Coleman, said police were aware of these problems at licensed premises for some time.

"We are reliant on licensees and members of the public to give us descriptions of the offenders and to make us aware as soon as it is taking place so we can attend.

"We want to make licensees around the town aware so in turn they can become more vigilant and telephone us as soon as they are aware of similar offences."

Back in September Mr Collins warned those behaving suspiciously at fruit machines or fiddling them can be barred from Ipswich's drinking establishments.

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