Shut down gambling operation – again and again

Liberty PCS opened back up Wednesday August 14, almost two weeks after closing down August 1 after the Gilroy Police Department, with assistance from the Morgan Hill Police Department and the Department of Justice, served a search and seizure of the illeg

Shut them down again – and again, and again, and again – if necessary.
Police Chief Denise Turner – and likely the City Council soon – will be weighing their options regarding what to do about the Internet Café gambling operation on First Street that is masquerading as a place to buy phone accessories.
On Aug. 1, Gilroy Police raided the place, shut it down and confiscated all the computers which are used to gamble or, as the owners like to say, play “sweepstakes” games. It’s all a charade, one designed to skirt the state’s gambling laws and make a fast buck.
So, it comes down to tolerate and look the other way or fight. Gilroy made the right call. Our city doesn’t need places like Liberty PCS proliferating and preying on people hoping to make a quick buck. Head up to San Jose for the big cardroom action if you’re so inclined.
Many of these establishments have lost in state court battles and it’s more than likely Liberty PCS will as well. But it’s going to take a fight and that fight will cost the city since the monied interests behind Liberty PCS have hired an expensive San Francisco-based law firm and sued the city.
But Gilroy is “in for a penny” and it should “stay in for the pound” and counter sue for attorney’s fees and more.
Meanwhile, Chief Turner’s pledge to vigilantly patrol the shopping center where Togo’s is located should be ramped up to the highest possible level. There were numerous arrests during the Aug. 1 raid for drug offenses and such, so the increased patrols make perfect sense.
It would be helpful, too, if the other business owners at the center located at 1325 First St. would let their landlord know that they don’t appreciate the leasing decisions – first the medical marijuana clinic and now the gambling business. What’s next, a massage parlor that’s really a house of prostitution? Perhaps the city can take a look at laws related to aiding and abetting illegal businesses and if there are some ramifications for unscrupulous landlords.
In any case, GPD’s three-month undercover investigation surely produced a mountain of evidence related to gambling. Now it’s time to go to court and prove the illegality of such operations.
Meanwhile, the police should raid Liberty PCS as often as it re-opens and shut the place down. It should remain closed until the court battle is final. It’s an illegal business and it should be shut down for good.


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