Cuyahoga County

Raid Shutters Last of Cuyahoga County’s “Original” Internet Casinos

7/24/2013 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 24, 2013

CLEVELAND – A task force of local, state and federal law enforcement officials today  closed an illegal Internet gambling hall on Cleveland’s East Side, seizing cash and gaming terminals.

The Lucky Palms 777 is the last of the original 52 Internet gambling casinos that were operating in Cuyahoga County when the law enforcement crackdown began last year.

“These are rip-off centers,’’ Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty said at a press conference on the northeast corner of East 67th Street and St. Clair Avenue where officers were hauling 30+ gambling machines from the storefront. “They rob the public.’’

McGinty said he had hoped that closing the Lucky Palms 777 would mark the end of Internet casino gambling in Cuyahoga County, but that the illegal businesses “spring up like weeds.’’

He noted that as investigators from the Ohio Department of Public Safety began executing the search warrant, a would-be customer arrived. After being told that the club on St. Clair was closed, he told the officers about a new club he’d heard about nearby.

“Wherever they are, we’ll find them and close them down,’’ McGinty said. “We’ll seize their illegal gambling machines and their cash.’’

Thomas P. Charles, director of the Ohio Department of Public Safety, called the campaign against Internet gambling “a good government’’ effort.  

“These Internet casinos add no value to the state of Ohio,” Charles said. He noted that a large chunk of profits made by the clubs go to out-of-state interests that supply software for the games.

Officers and agents from the Parma Heights Police Department and the U.S. Secret Service assisted ODPS with the raid. As of yet, no charges have been filed against the owners or operators of the Lucky Palms 777, but Assistant County Prosecutor Daniel Kasaris said they may face gambling and money laundering charges in the near future. 

Contact: Joseph Frolik, Director of Communication and Public Policy or Maria (Pinzone) Russo, Public Information Officer, Phone: (216) 698-2819  http://prosecutor.cuyahogacounty.us     

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