Thursday, January 26, 2012

Illegal Video Poker Games Found, Say Brockton PD

By Lisa E. Crowley
BROCKTON—Two Brockton businesses—Patriot Convenience and Joe Angelo’s Café--will face possible license and criminal penalties after Brockton Police said they found illegal gambling video machines at both locations during License Commission inspections.
“We are pursuing these violations both at the state and local level,” said Capt. Manuel Gomes.
Gomes said Code Enforcement Officer Scott Uhlman spotted the video gaming machines in rear rooms of each establishment, and police believe they may have been used for illegal gambling.
“We’re told all the time they're for entertainment purposes,” Gomes said.  
Gomes said he couldn’t say if much, or any, money was gambled via the video games.
Gomes said a full report of the video games will be forwarded to the License Commission, who are expected to hold a disciplinary hearing on each business, if not next month, sometime in the future.
“Penalties could run the gamut of fines, suspension, and even the revocation of the license,” Gomes said.
Gomes said the state Attorney General’s Office would also be contacted for potential criminal charges, however, Gomes said, under most circumstances the penalties that can be inflicted at the local level are often more harsh.
“They can pull the license,” Gomes said.
Joe Angelo, owner of Joe Angelo’s Café on Main and Crescent Streets, said his four video poker games have all the required state licenses and are legal.
He said there was no gambling going on, and the reason the videos were in a back room, closet-like space was because he had to move them from the front dining room when he hired a new chef and needed to create a new waitress station.
However, because he is already facing sanctions from the License Commission because of a stabbing outside the bar and other issues, Angelo said he is going to remove the video machines from the bar-restaurant.
“They hold all of the cards,” Angelo said.
A police log entry by Officer Uhlman states at 12:52 p.m. on Jan. 19 he found four video gambling games in a separate room with “people drinking, smoking, and gambling.”
Patriot Convenience, located at 963 Main St., whose owners could not immediately be reached, had two video poker machines and another video game towed away and seized by police as evidence last week.
The machines were seized Jan. 19.
Joe Angelo’s’ machines were not seized.

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