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Lottery commission removes machines

October 4, 2012
Morning Journal News

EAST LIVERPOOL - The Ohio Lottery Commission has pulled the plug on the lottery terminal at a local retail operation, where an investigation is on-going.

Local police confirmed they were called to the Convenient Food Mart on Lisbon Street Sept. 19 and were posted outside the store while officials of the Ohio Lottery Commission were inside.

According to a detective, one of the commission representatives came outside and told customers the store was closed for the day.

A commission spokesman said Wednesday the store is not selling lottery tickets at this time, and its equipment was shut off Sept. 19 with an "open case" pending.

Although the spokesman declined to discuss specific details of why the terminal was closed down, she said there is a current investigation but that no one has been charged.

She said any retailer charged in connection with lottery crimes would be indicted by the county's grand jury, "typically charged with felonies." If an owner of a retail business is found guilty of such a crime, he or she would lose the license to sell lottery products.

The commission spokesman said representatives have a long-standing inspection program across the state, with some inspections random but the majority based on complaints from customers, sales reps and others.

Owner of the Lisbon Street convenience store is Saleah M. Sahmawi, who the lottery spokesman said has been a lottery retailer at that location since Sept. 7, 2011.

The store remains open for business for all but lottery products.



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