Anti-Online Gambling Raid in Sacramento

Two Sacramento internet cafes were raided by large numbers of police officers and other officials on Dec. 11 in anti-online gambling raids which resulted in seizure of a substantial amount of cash and computers.

According to a spokesman for Sacramento County Sheriff's Department, the two premises, the Izone and Web Stop internet cafes, were offering online gambling, enabling gamblers to use computers, and using the controversial "sweepstakes" technology argument to circumvent local gambling laws.

It was revealed by the gamblers present during the raids that the venues were full most nights. The police questioned 10 punters and then released them with a warning, while keeping the search for the owners of both cafes in order to arrest them.

Later on, the Izone owner's attorney Mark Reichel claimed that the games offered were no different than sweepstake promotions at McDonald's.

According to him, 'It's really hard to discern under the law, under anybody's interpretation of the current laws in California or any other state, whether this is gambling or not.'

However, it was opined by police investigators that the businesses were involved in an illegal activity that attracted criminal elements, and that surrounding businesses had complained.

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