ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — A Chinese national living in Salisbury was arrested and accused of running an illegal gambling operation after an investigation that lasted over a year, according to a Rowan County Sheriff’s Office news release.

In March 2021, Rowan County deputies began an investigation into an illegal gambling operation at Duck Arcade Sweepstakes on Mooresville Road in Salisbury.  The business was operating under the guise of a legal arcade. 

During undercover operations at Duck Arcade Sweepstakes on March 19, 2021, June 18, 2021, March 31, 2022, and April 7, 2022, an undercover investigator played server-based video games violating state law. 

These games allowed patrons to receive cash equal to credits earned and to bet more than eight credits per play.  These games did not involve skill or dexterity, and winners and losers were chosen randomly, the release says.    

On April 7, the RCSO, assisted by the Salisbury Police Department, executed a state search warrant at Duck Arcade Sweepstakes. 

Investigators determined that the business had 95 playing stations with multiple gaming stations that violated state law. 

Seized during the search were dozens of CPUs and monitors as well as gambling-related equipment, including surveillance cameras, printers, accounting systems and money counters. Investigators also seized two guns, ammunition, assorted receipts and documents and $126,149.

The RCSO continued the investigation with the help of the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and the United States Department of Homeland Security. 

The investigation showed that the illegal gambling operation was run by 41-year-old Jindeng Dong, a Chinese National, currently residing in Salisbury. 

Dong was doing business under the name of Dong Business, Inc.  The investigation also identified multiple other employees of the business, including other natives of China and Mexico and North Carolina residents.   

On Tuesday, the RCSO arrested Dong and executed a search warrant at his home in Salisbury.  

$877 was seized during his arrest.  During the search of Dong’s home, investigators also seized assorted documents, a money counting machine and $115,628.

Dong was charged with five violations: 

  • slot machine or device defined (misdemeanor)
  • gambling (misdemeanor)
  • operate/possess slot machine (misdemeanor)
  • operate five or more gaming machines (felony)
  • certain game promotions unlawful (felony)

Dong was placed under a $5,000 secured bond. 

More arrests are expected.