BELLEVIEW, FL – On Monday, February 8, 2021, Marion County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) arrested Jessica Bermudez, 38, and Rimon Joudi, 45, for 86 counts of simulated gambling device violation. On Tuesday, February 2, 2021, the Marion County Board of County Commissioners passed ordinance 21-03, which went into effect on February 3, 2021 and deemed it “unlawful for any person to manage, supervise, maintain, provide, produce, possess, or use a simulated gambling device for commercial, promotional, or pecuniary gain or purpose”.
A copy of this order was hand delivered to Rimon Joudi at Blackjack Arcade at 12496 S Highway 301, Belleview, on Thursday, February 4, 2021. MCSO officials returned, in plain clothes, to the Blackjack Arcade on February 8, 2021 to determine if the location was in violation of the ordinance. Upon entering the location, plain clothes authorities were approached by Jessica Bermudez, who helped them prepare to play the simulated gambling devices around the location and pointed them to a fish-games table that “was working the best” near a wall of slot machine style gaming computers.
Both authorities were able to activate the fish-games and slot machine devices using the $20.00 each set out to check the functionality of the gambling devices. Throughout the operation, it was determined that the gambling devices were all functional and Bermudez aided authorities with operating the slot machine gaming device.
When authorities finished operating the devices, a Lieutenant and Sergeant entered Blackjack Arcade and detained Bermudez. Joudi was also present at the location and detained for working at the business and therefore violating the ordinance.
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In total, Blackjack Arcade was operating 86 simulated gambling devices (73 fish-games stations and 13 slot machine style computers). Bermudez and Joudi were arrested for the 86 violations and transported to the Marion County Jail, where they are each held on $43,000 bonds.