WASHINGTON C.H. — A man who admitted to illegal gambling in November was sentenced Monday in Fayette County Court of Common Pleas to community control for operating two illegal gambling facilities in the region.

Thomas Dean Long, 32, appeared in court on one count of illegal gambling, a fifth degree felony.

Long’s one-year community control sentence will be supervised by the Fayette County Adult Probation Department. He was ordered to pay the costs for prosecution and to forfeit money seized during raids to the state.

Long operated Lucky You in Jeffersonville and Lucky You Two in Wilmington until Dec. 2, 2015 when authorities executed search warrants at both locations, as well as on Long’s home in Washington Court House. The evidence report states that the cash used to run the operations was seized from machines, safes, desks, ATMs and bank accounts.

The two illegal gambling businesses were operated as cash-in and cash-out “games of skill.”

Jess Weade, Fayette County Prosecutor, said in November that according to Chapter 2915 of the Ohio Revised Code and the regulations of the Ohio Casino Control Commission, there are only four casinos in the state of Ohio allowed to operate as cash-in and cash-out businesses, and Long’s gambling facilities were not among those allowed to operate as cash-in and cash-out.

Long faced a one-year prison sentence to the illegal gambling charge. During the plea hearing in November, Weade said Long has no prior felony convictions that the state was aware of.

“The state’s making a recommendation on community control in this case with no jail time,” said Weade.

According to Steven Beathard, Fayette County Court of Common Pleas Judge, the community control is a mandatory sentence and the state is not recommending jail time.

Lucky You was opened in 2007 at the Jeffersonville Crossing in Jeffersonville by Long’s father, Talmadge Long. The family oversaw the daily operations of the business and the second location, Lucky You Two, later opened on Rombach Avenue in Wilmington. Thomas Dean Long eventually took over ownership of the businesses from his father, Talmadge, according to court records.

Long’s forfeiture includes cash seized in bank accounts that will be handed over to the state. The July 8 indictment listed the forfeiture of 18 bank accounts that contained $345,688.91. According to the sentencing, just eight of those bank accounts will be forfeited as part of the sentencing. Weade said in November that he estimates the amount in the eight bank accounts at the time that they were frozen is $139,683.48. The rest of the funds, an additional $331,502.41 seized in cash, will be forfeited, according to an exhibit signed in court by Long and his attorney, Steven Palmer, in November.

The cash forfeiture will be split among the law enforcement agencies involved with the investigation, according to Weade, to include the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office, Clinton County Sheriff’s Office and the Ohio Casino Control Commission.

Long stated in court that he is now a resident of Tennessee.


By Ashley Bunton

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Reach Ashley at (740) 313-0355 or on Twitter @ashbunton