Gambling machines found in Kingsport bar; owner and patrons arrested

Rain Smith • Mar 12, 2009 at 12:00 AM

A back room gambling operation has been busted in Kingsport.

Detectives say that on Wednesday three video poker machines were found in the back of the Whale Bone bar, 1021 Lynn Garden Drive. Police received information that illegal gambling machines were on the premises, and found three people playing the devices when they arrived.

In the same room police located the business owner, Otis Fillers Jr., 58, of 124 Gravely Road. Police say Fillers confessed to running the machines and paying out winnings, with the house taking a percentage.

KPD Vice seized the cash involved -- around $3,500 -- and charged Fillers with aggravated gambling promotion. He was arraigned Thursday morning.

The people playing the machines were arrested for gambling. They are Ricky Peak, 22, also of 124 Gravely Road; Karen Price, 46, of 418 Landcastle Road, Church Hill; James E. Rhoton, 49, of 110 Thomas St., Lot No. 2, Kingsport.

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