Eagles member defends organization after casino raid, shutdown

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Eagle members hope their reputation isn’t tainted after the charity casino was shut down following a raid.

Long-time member Darrell Botts stood by their mission of charity and giving back and encouraged people not to view the group differently because of that situation. “Don’t give the Eagles a black eye because of the doings of maybe a certain amount of people over at the casino that, you know, I really don’t consider Eagle members. They were probably Eagle members by proxy; they became members so that they could run the casino.”

Botts was appalled to hear the news at first but then the shock wore off after learning what reportedly happened. He said he has little interest in the casino. “They’re their own little entity over there and I don’t even want to know what’s going on over there. I probably wish I had now.”

Eagles take pride in the positive work they do in the community and don’t want to be looked at differently now. Botts said Eagles around town are already affected at their clubs. They can’t compete in weekly drawings or play pull tabs, which sometimes members spend $20 to $30 on and it all goes to their mission. He said he hopes people aren’t stereotyping Eagles or that this will have a lasting impact. “It could be a reality. I think our Eagles are sturdy enough that we won’t go under but it’s not going to be helpful to us.”

NewsChanel 15 has reached out to the gaming commission for further comment as well as the Allen County Prosecutor’s Office, who the gaming commission confirmed is handling the investigation. The commission can’t comment during investigation. We didn’t receive any updates from the prosecutor’s office Monday.

Click here to learn more about the Fraternal Order of Eagles.