Fish Arcades Net Two With More Than 800 Charges Filed

Written by:
Nagesh Rath
Published on:

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police filed some 800 plus charges in connection to illegal "fish arcades", arresting two individuals.  Seven others are being sought on warrants.


"Fish arcades" are considered by some law enforcement agencies, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police included, to be a form of illegal gambling in the state of North Carolina. 

The object of these arcades is to feed money into the machine to buy "bullets" then shoot the fish as they swim across the screen.  The bigger the fish, the more money you win.  More expensive bullets purchased, the higher the payouts as well. 


"I came in with $20, so right now I got $145," one man told WFAE back in January.

Operators consider these "fish arcades" games of skill or "skill arcades", not gambling.  In many ways these games seem to sit somewhere between the loot box video games promoted heavily on streaming platforms that allow for a consumable virtual item to be redeemed in order to receive a randomised selection of further virtual items and your typical online casino slots game, minus the slots.

The Wednesday raids, which police announced on Friday morning, resulted in 117 of the machines being seized along with $18,000 in cash.  Two guns were also confiscated.  Multiple locations were targeted.

“These fish arcades and other illegal gambling locations are havens for criminal activity,” CMPD Chief Johnny Jennings said in a news release. “Often the most vulnerable members of our communities are targeted to gamble at these locations. We are very thankful for our local, state and federal law enforcement partners to help us send a message that we will not tolerate these establishments preying on our citizens.”

Two individuals were arrested in connection with the arcades located in North Carolina's largest city of Charlotte. Khalil Okasha, 50, was served on gambling warrants related to the investigation and 38-year-old Antwan Webb was arrested for providing unlicensed security at the facilities, police said.

"I saw black and white undercover cars pulling up, like 24 of them," a witness said. "Two armored vehicles with people with Army gear on ... They rammed a window on the left and you hear a dynamite blast. It blew off the door, you could hear it in the back of the building."

Warrants have been issued for seven others:

  • Nina Nashar
  • Nicole Nashar
  • Hani Nashar
  • Haissam Nashar
  • Valarie Nashar
  • Lillian Nashar
  • Adam Nashar

Those suspects are all facing charges for illegal gambling, conducting and promoting a sweepstakes business, continuing criminal enterprise and possession, storage and operation of video gambling machines.

Detectives also targeted arcades in Raleigh, Gastonia and Matthews as part of Wednesday's operation. 

- Nagesh Rath,

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