Magic Minutes owner arrested on illegal gambling charge

LW Flynn at a recent House Judiciary subcommittee hearing on the machines.
LW Flynn at a recent House Judiciary subcommittee hearing on the machines.

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - L.W. Flynn, the man in charge of a company that manufactured Internet "sweepstakes" machines that are now considered illegal by the state of South Carolina, was arrested on a gambling charge in Spartanburg County.

Flynn was charged with possession and operation of gambling machines. He eventually bonded out on a $2,000 personal recognizance bond and is no longer in custody.

Flynn's machines were the subject of numerous WIS investigations from Kershaw County to Lexington County.

Flynn founded the company with his wife, Kathy. Flynn is a former 5th Solicitor's Circuit investigator under former solicitor Barney Giese, and Mrs. Flynn is a former Richland County K-9 officer under Sheriff Leon Lott. He was also a candidate for sheriff in Kershaw County before losing to current Sheriff Jim Matthews in a primary.

"I made sure with everyone that I could that what I was doing was not illegal at all," Flynn said.

The machines allowed a user to purchase phone minutes, then gave the player a chance to play various "sweepstakes" games. The games are poker-based "games of chance," which were forbidden under the state's original video poker ban.

The state legislature revisited the law in 2013 and clarified the sweepstakes machines were illegal as well. Gov. Nikki Haley's signature fully banned the machines and sweepstakes parlors across the state.

The State Law Enforcement Division and the Attorney General's Office always considered the machines to be illegal long before the ban was put into place.

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