Feds Say Ga. Casino Boat Allowed Illegal Gambling

video poker machine

29 businesses in Emanuel and Toombs counties were busted for illegal gambling. (March 8, 2010 / WRDW-TV)

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) -- Federal prosecutors say the owners of a Savannah-based casino boat owe the government nearly $7 million earned from illegal gambling in state waters off Georgia and South Carolina.

An indictment unsealed Monday in U.S. District Court charges the general manager of Diamond Casino and two of his boat captains with operating an illegal gambling business. Prosecutors say Diamond Casino's cruise boat routinely allowed gambling in state waters between July 2010 and last November.

Casino boats must sail beyond state waters -- which extend to 3 miles offshore -- in order to offer legal gambling.

Diamond Casino's general manager, Gregory Sicilia, declined to comment Tuesday and his attorney did not immediately return a phone message. The captains facing charges could not immediately be reached. Diamond Casino's office phone has been disconnected.

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