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Oklahoma amusement company owner is target of gambling inquiry

Adlai S. Brinkley, 52, owner of Star Amusement Inc., has not been charged but federal agents also searched his company in El Reno and his home in Union City, seizing bags of U.S. currency, gold coins and silver coins in connection with an illegal gambling investigation.
by Nolan Clay Modified: January 26, 2014 at 10:00 pm •  Published: January 26, 2014

Investigators allege an Oklahoma man supplied illegal slot machines to bars and lodges across the state for years, befriending and possibly bribing law enforcement officials to look the other way.

The target of the federal criminal investigation is identified in search warrant records as Adlai S. Brinkley, 52, owner of Star Amusement Inc. He has not been charged.

From 2009 through 2012, he and his wife, Pamela, deposited $40,000 to $80,000 a month in cash into their bank account, the records show.

Those deposits totaled more than $4 million.

Adlai Brinkley's attorney, Mark Henricksen, of El Reno, said Friday, “I really appreciate you giving me a chance to comment. I just can't at this time.”

Federal agents and Canadian County sheriff's deputies last March raided Charlie B's Bar, the Elks Lodge, Gilmore's Pub & Barefoot Bar, the Veterans of Foreign Wars post and the American Legion post in El Reno. There, they seized gaming machines and cash.

The American Legion post had 37 machines in its gaming room, an inventory shows.

Federal agents also searched Brinkley's home in Union City, seizing bags of U.S. currency, gold coins and silver coins. They also searched Star Amusement offices in El Reno.

The illegal gambling took place pretty much openly at bars, lodges and veterans' posts, investigators reported.

“Don't tell anybody,” an employee at the American Legion post in El Reno told an undercover federal agent in 2012, according to the records. “This is private. We are not Indians.”


Adlai Brinkley took over the illegal business after his uncle and cousin pleaded guilty in 1990 to conspiring to defraud the government, investigators allege.

Both the uncle and cousin went to federal prison and forfeited $1.1 million to the federal government.

“For the past 22 years, Adlai Brinkley continuously has been the head of a large-scale, illegal gambling enterprise operating throughout the state ... with the base of operations located at Star Amusement ... in El Reno,” a special agent with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security wrote in a 77-page court affidavit filed last year.

“He has created personal relationships with numerous influential individuals including law enforcement personnel throughout the state,” agent Eric B. Coburn wrote. “Based on these relationships, Brinkley has been able to operate the illegal gambling enterprise in view of the public without fear of law enforcement intervention.

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by Nolan Clay
Sr. Reporter
Nolan Clay was born in Oklahoma and has worked as a reporter for The Oklahoman since 1985. He covered the Oklahoma City bombing trials and witnessed bomber Tim McVeigh's execution. His investigative reports have brought down public officials,...
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